6th September 2014

God Loves a Cheerful Giver 

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NKJV)
 

When times are hard and we all have to tighten our belts, it’s tempting to think we can no longer afford to give something, whether in the past we’ve been able to give a few pounds or a few pence.

Giving away hard earned money is not a natural human thing to do. It’s easy enough to put a few pennies change in a collection box. Most of us, however hard up we may feel, won’t miss those few pennies. But it is much harder to make a decision to give away a set percentage of your income every month and stick to it for years in good and bad times. The percentage doesn’t matter, although the Bible talks about a tithe, meaning one tenth, of your income. In our modern world with tax and National Insurance to pay we would understand that as meaning we give a percentage of our net, not gross, income. What does matter is your attitude and willingness to give on a regular basis whatever percentage of your income seems right to you. It may be 1% or 10% or more—or any other percentage in between. The important thing is to make the commitment and stick to it. It is better to commit to give a small percentage and do so cheerfully (see header scripture) and consistently, than to try to give on too large a scale to start with.

In a world focused on getting, giving seems an unnatural thing to do. But the Bible says “It is more blessed to give then to receive” ( Acts 20:35). Modern studies of human behaviour have shown that the act of giving is beneficial for our emotional and physical health. We tend to think of giving only in a financial sense but giving of our time is just as important. We can give time by being a volunteer in some area, simply by being available when someone needs to talk, or by giving our time to others in prayer.

Christians believe we worship a loving, generous and giving God.  When we consider that God gave his son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins we see that God is a generous giver. That is an act of giving we can never repay. So when we give, whatever the amount, we are following God’s example of giving in our limited way.

As a nation we are always ready to respond to a natural disaster anywhere in the world and usually one of the more generous in terms of what we give. Our own Children in Need and Comic Relief national appeals are always well supported and raise incredible amounts of money. Of course we can only give what we can afford and we can’t support every charity that asks us too. But giving is good for us and to give cheerfully and willingly, whether our money or our time, is a great blessing for others and for us. God loves a cheerful giver so, being sensible and wise in relation to our income and time, let us give cheerfully as our heart leads us.

Prayer
Our Father, help us to understand your giving nature and guide our hearts and minds to give cheerfully and willingly as we are able.
Amen
 

Study by Keith Hartrick

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keithhartrickAbout the Author: Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there. Local Congregation: Grace Communion – Leeds Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre Pendas Way LEEDS LS15 8LE Meeting Time: Saturday 2PM Local Congregational Contact: Malcolm Arnold Phone:  01484-312347 Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com

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