Posted on: February 22, 2023 Posted by: vudfc Comments: 0

By Walt Walton

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 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.  As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

II Corinthians 9:6-15

There are so many ways in life we can sow goodness: by giving words of encouragement; sharing good advice; spending quality time with others; choosing to live with tenderness. This tenderness—a sort of expression of love and care—is a matter of choice. We can give as misers, begrudging and complaining. Or we can choose, in Christ, to be cheerful givers.

This idea to give cheerfully and wholeheartedly aligns with Jesus’ words about the “greatest command.” He tells the teachers of his day that the great command is to love God and then love people. With all we’ve got—and that would include, I think, a cheerfulness. A joy. A hope. We don’t do these things with forlorn hearts, but with hearts made alive in the very act of conforming to their transformed design—to love others. Furthermore, Jesus doesn’t simply give a command and walk away. No, he pours out gifts on us, allowing us to produce a spiritual flourishing through utilizing good gifts and making the most of every opportunity.

Recently, I experienced this—God providing an opportunity, a choice, and then the means by which I could obey. It was a regular day and I was running a run-of-the-mill errand; I was taking our family’s spare change to the store to get cash. Another man was also having a regular day: he was standing at a red light holding a sign that read “Anything Helps. God Bless.”

Opportunity was there before me. Choice was too. Most importantly, God’s Spirit stirred. God’s goodness doesn’t miss breakfast, so neither did we. The man eagerly joined me that morning, and, as we ate, I got to pray for him and then he allowed me to read I Peter 1:3-10. Those words were the real blessing, but I gave him the coins I had planned to cash on the way out. Though my bank was now empty, my heart was full. The heart of a cheerful giver redoubles in cheer—my heart was full of joy.

As we enter the season of Lent, we allow for the reminder that God has gifted us. Beyond just “Anything Helps,” God has blessed us with everything we need—life in and through his Son. The Son of Man came to serve, and not only do we leave blessed, he lets us walk away with the change—true life change and a heart more like his.

This Easter season, let us rejoice in the gift, and, out of that gift, give freely and cheerfully.


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