A Gift You Will Never Regret Giving

“…they first gave themselves to the Lord…. II Corinthians 8: 5

Daily appeals are made asking individuals for money. Rare is the person who can say no to all of them. That speaks well of the temperament of Americans.

Jesus noted the blessings afforded persons who give: “Give and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6: 38).

All giving is reciprocal giving. That is, inherent in giving is getting, if we give with the right motive.

We are told what kind of giver our Lord loves: “So let every one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9: 8).

The Greek word translated “cheerful” is “hilaros.”  You can hear in it our English word “hilarious.” It means a joyful willingness to do what is done. This is normally admirably applied to giving to the cause of Jesus, but it relates to all giving.

Here is a plan. Plan what you are going to give to the cause of Jesus and set it aside. Then plan what else you are going to give and study causes to determine what you will give further. Not all appeals are worthy. Study their record of how gifts are used.

In a society that stimulates our appetites for getting, few people associate joy with giving.

An American teenager would translate the Greek text: “Giggle as you give with holy hilarity as unto the Lord.”

A cultural cloud cover hovers over Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Observe how II Corinthians 9: 7 neatly unfolds to produce a cheerful giver. Cheerful giving involves:
A sacrifice without casualness – – – “as he purposes.” This expression in Greek is a middle voice verb referring to a set plan.

A sacrifice without complaint – – – “not grudgingly.”

A sacrifice without compulsion – – – “or of necessity.”

Suppose you are in possession of something God wants you to give. What would motivate you to give it? Nothing less than the energizing and motivating power of the Holy Spirit.  If you become aware a certain thing is the will of God you should out of love do it cheerfully.

One might conclude Jesus was the ultimate materialist. Of His 18 parables related to material goods. He spoke more about money than about heaven and hell combined. He had twice as much to say about it as about prayer.

However, the opening text notes what the first offering should be yourself.

“…they first gave themselves to the Lord…” II Corinthians 8: 5.