2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – God Loves a Cheerful Giver
We read at 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.
In light of these words of Scripture I want to urge everyone to do three things:
- to give generously;
- to give willingly; and
- to give cheerfully.
1. Give generously – the more you give the more you receive
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (6). The success of the harvest is directly proportional to the amount of seed sown. As Christians we are to sow the seed of the word individually and collectively. We are to give of ourselves in the service of Him who loved and gave His life for us.
We are to give of our time, talents and resources; and this includes our finances to further the cause of Christ’s gospel in our own locality, throughout our nation and to the very ends of the earth. We are not to squander our time and resources on peripheral things but give ourselves wholeheartedly to the things of God. Jesus Christ must have priority in and over our lives. Does He?
In Old Testament times the people of God were commanded by God to give a tenth of their income back to God for the provision, maintenance and perpetuity of the ordained ministry, the Temple and all things associated with administering God’s ordinances. And this practice continued in many churches in the New Testament era.
New Testament believers, however, went a step further by giving sacrificially. They took the Lord Jesus at His word: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Luke 6:38). “Freely you have received, freely give” (Mat 10:8). As a result of their obedience and trust in God’s word the church prospered through trials and tribulations and grew. Not because the early Christians gave of their material resources in a sacrificial manner but because this was truly a manifestation of their love for the Lord Jesus and of their dependency and trust in Him. It was a sign of their overwhelming compulsion to further the gospel and show forth His love, grace and mercy to others.
The early church turned the world upside down! If we want the Lord to bless us and use us today to bring light and blessing to others then we must follow their example.
There are many in our land at present that appear to think on the church as something akin to the old co-operative societies – a sort of insurance policy – you pay your occasional mite and the minister will baptise your children, marry you and officiate at your funeral. Such folks say they want to see God’s cause maintained; they just don’t want to contribute their time, talents and resources to His church.
God’s word says to such: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it’” (Hag 1:4-6). “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Pro 11:24-25). Give generously of your time, talents and resources and God will prosper you.
2. Do not give grudgingly but give willingly
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion” (7). The matter of giving is very much between you and God: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give”: Search your heart. Do you love the Lord Jesus? Is He your Lord and Saviour? Consider what He did for you in and through His life, death and resurrection. Consider what He continues to do for you as your Intercessor with the Father and will do for you as the Author and Finisher of your faith. Can you and I ever do enough or give enough of ourselves to Jesus!
We are not to give reluctantly or under compulsion. The church cannot force members and adherents into giving generously but I would remind you of the Apostle Paul’s instruction to Timothy, the young pastor of the fledgling church in Ephesus: “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Tim.6:18). Do you; are you willing to comply with God’s word?
Our willingness to comply with the above injunction is testimony to our being new creations in Christ. It is evidence that we have received a new heart from God. The Lord Jesus identified and condemned those fine religious folk in his day whose hearts were far from Him: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (Mat 23:25).
By contrast children of the New Covenant give willingly. We are to be like Jacob who says to his brother: “Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need” (Gen 33:11).
God blesses those who give willingly: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor 9:8).
3.Give cheerfully – as a witness to your love for God
“For God loves a cheerful giver” (7). C.H. Spurgeon once said: ‘Get beyond the serf-like, slavish spirit. The slave brings his pittance, which he is obliged to pay, and goes his way in misery. But the child, pleased to give its Father what it can, beholds the Father smile, and goes its way rejoicing.’ Let us all heed the words of 1 Chron 29:17: “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you” (1 Chron 29:17).
Do you desire to see the church prosper in our land? Do you want to be blessed, happy and content? Do you want to know and increasingly experience the love of God?
Put your trust in Jesus Christ and serve Him wholeheartedly. Give what you can of yourself, your time, talents, resources and do so cheerfully for God loves a cheerful giver.