God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
God loveth a cheerful giver.
This giving is of our time,…..our ability….our testimony,….as well as our tithe, and offerings.
Cheerful here, means hilarious….joyfully helpful and generous.
(In 2 Corinthians, Paul is talking about the offering he was going to take to Jerusalem for the suffering brethren. There had been persecution, and then a famine….many were suffering.)
But the principle is the same for everything we do for Christ…..God loves a cheerful giver.
Proverbs 15:13, 15 “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.”
Simply, God has made our hearts to rejoice in Him…..and when they don’t…..it bends the spirit, sometime to the breaking point…..and effects our minds…makes us melancholy (a feeling of anxious sadness).
But joy…..or the hilarious giver is blessed….always.
Jesus, said five times….”Be of good cheer”…”or to have joyful courage”:
Matthew 9:2 and Mark 6:50….He spoke of this joyful courage to the man with palsy.
Matthew 14:27…..to the disciples in the storm, as He walked on the water to them.
To the disciples…before He was betrayed and taken….imagine the knowledge of the suffering to come….yet….He knew He would overcome….and the courageous joy in His heart toward His Father’ Will….was present.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace, in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
And then, to Paul, when he was first arrested….
Acts 23:11 “….the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.”
God does not give as a miser….He gives abundant mercy and grace…and joy.
And He requires that we should act in accordance to what He gives.
Nehemiah 8:9-10 “And Nehemiah,….and Ezra the priest…..and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God: mourn not, nor weep, for all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto your Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Here, are these Israelites gathered to hear the Word of God,….some for the first time (since they had been in captivity)…..and they realize how little they had obeyed the Lord….
….sorrow filled their hearts as the priests taught them the Word, and gave understanding in it….
…yet,….God did not want weeping….but joy in the hearing of His Word….and so commanded them to put away their sorrow, for this day…..
…..and go and enjoy what His Word set forth…..a feast with Him, and their neighbors.
(This was the peace offering…which was always shared with family, neighbors, friends, and the priests. And this was to be enjoyed.)
He give us “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:7-8)….and we should give with the utter freedom of cheerfulness…..joyful courage.
Speaking of the gifts among the church….Paul wrote the Romans:
Romans 12:8 “Or he that exhorted, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence (seeing the job done); he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Anything we do for the Lord, is to be done in joy and peace.
An old preacher once said, that as far as he was concerned….the real criteria for spiritual maturity….was the hanging onto the Lord’s joy and peace.
God loves a cheerful giver.
We should give hilariously to the Lord….in all the things that He wants us to do.