08 Oct Cheerful Giving
Read: Luke 19:1-27
Last Sunday we began our series called One Mission, as Pastor Ken preached from Ephesians 4:1-16 on serving. This Sunday Pastor Jason will preach from Luke 19:1-27 on stewardship. As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, let these words from Donald Whitney encourage and challenge you in the area of giving. Also, please remember to pray for all of those affected by the flooding throughout our state. See our website for information on how you can further be a part of the current relief effort.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
– 2 Corinthians 9:7
God wants you to enjoy giving.
Some people give to God like they give to the IRS after an audit. Others give to God like they give to the electric company. But a few people give to God like they give an engagement ring to their fiancé or like they give to their ecstatic four-year-old on Christmas morning.
Some give because they say they can’t keep it. Others give because they say they owe it. But there are always those who give because they say they can’t help it!
I realize we need a reason to give thankfully and cheerfully. Otherwise this sounds like a person who comes when you’re down and says, “Cheer up!” Well, when you’re down you need a reason to cheer up. But you shouldn’t have to think long or hard for reasons to give thankfully and cheerfully. When you think of how God has given you the greatest possible gift in His Son, Jesus Christ, when you think of the mercy and grace He has given you, when you think of how He has provided all you have, and when you think that you’re giving to God, you should be able to give thankfully and cheerfully.
If one Sunday morning at church the pastor announced, “The head of one of the world’s largest drug cartels is here today, and we are going to take up an offering for his army,” you probably would not give willingly or cheerfully. But if you were told, “The Lord Jesus Christ is outside in the hallway, and everything you give today will be presented to Him and used by Him for His Kingdom,” probably the only thing lighter than your heart after that would be your wallet, because you’d realize you’re giving to God.
You don’t give grudgingly or under compulsion when you realize you’re giving to God. Instead you give willingly, thankfully, and cheerfully.
Excerpt from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald S. Whitney, pp. 148-149.
Song List for Sunday
1. Hosanna (Praise is Rising), by Shane and Shane
2. Behold Our God, by Sovereign Grace Music
3. The Depths of Your Love, by North Wake Music
4. Lead Me to the Cross, by Hillsong United