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. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Cor 9:6-8)
In this key New Testament passage on giving, Apostle Paul appealed to the Corinthian believers to give to their needy brethren by citing the good example of their neighbor Christians (8:1–7). He then focused on the supreme motive for giving - Jesus Christ’s gift of Himself for needy people (8:8–15), and explained the arrangements for collecting and delivering their gift (8:16–24) and his own plans to visit Corinth soon (9:1–5). He concluded by reviewing several benefits of generous giving: the more we give, the more we will benefit (9:6–15).
God loves a cheerful giver because giving is the language of love. “God so loved that He gave!” (John 3:16). Does God really need our money? No, the cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him, and if He needed anything, He would not tell us (Psalms 50:10–12). But our heart’s attitude is what is important to God. He loves to see us so filled with the joy of the Lord that we want to share what we have for God’s kingdom!
The formula for giving is found in 1 Cor. 16:2 where three principles can be seen:
- Our giving should be regular, “on the first day of the week”
- Our giving should be systematic, “let each one of you lay something aside”
- Our giving should be proportionate (to our income), “as he may prosper”
We should give as an act of worship with preparation, purpose, and joy. Then God will supply us with resources so that we will not only have a sufficiency ourselves, but so that we will be able to share what we have with others, and thus have abundance for every good work (v. 8). God will meet all our needs when we give sacrificially to God’s kingdom (Phil. 4:19; Prov. 11:24-25). We will then enjoy physical/material blessings (Prov. 19:17; Isaiah 58:8; Psalms 41:1-3); spiritual blessings (v. 9-10; Acts 10:4, 44, 47); and eternal blessings (1 Tim. 6:18-19).
Let us also understand that we cannot give our substance until we first give ourselves (v. 5). When we belong to the Lord, we start looking for opportunities to give instead of excuses not to give. We are constant recipients of God’s generous grace. God promises that if we will give of ourselves, He’ll enable us to have an abundance of resources for the work to which He has called us (v. 8).
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)