THE CHEERFUL GIVER

"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."

// 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Cheeriness, joy, gladness of heart, a celebratory disposition, a smile--all the makings of one who's learned to become a true worshipper. It's impossible to encounter a good-hearted, loving, and generous Father and remain stingy, self-absorbed, and childish. Impossible. You cannot see His rich, lavish generosity and remain unmoved and unchanged. To see Him is to love Him, which births in our hearts a desire to become just like our Papa.

When we live in the revelation of His generosity, and when we see that His goodness always motivates Him to give lavishly and unreservedly, we will begin to look for ways to be as generous as Him. It's important that we remind ourselves that we got saved and placed into His family on account of His giving heart: "For God so loved the world that He gave..."  If we entered His kingdom through His giving, then we will quickly realize two resultant things: we will grow up in the Lord by receiving more from His giving heart and, in order to mature, we must be as He is and become great givers.

Worship leads to encounters with God, that draws out revelations of Himself, which He gifts to us; those gifted revelations in turn energize our worship, repeating the cycle. Put succinctly, to see His glory--who He is--will triggerworship in us, which then draws us into more life-transforming glory. A key to abiding in that life-giving cycle, and not slipping from it, is to be a giver. Giving keeps us linked up to His flow of joy and pleasure, because we recognize that seeing His glory comes by His gift, and our worshipful response to Him is our gift in return.

The various opportunities we have to give financially can be a great and useful on-ramp to a richer, fuller life of generosity in every area of our lives. Take the chances to give of your material means, knowing it helps open your life to a deluge of abounding grace, as verse 8 above so promises.


// Samuel Nicolosi