A Cheerful Giver

2 Corinthians 9:6-12

6 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.”

10 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. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought it appropriate to write about how to produce genuine thanksgiving in our lives. The biblical solution to producing more thanksgiving in life is by first recognizing that God is the one who provides, and secondly by being cheerful givers.

 Paul in 2 Corinthians reminds the Christians in Corinth of their pledge to give a generous gift for the Christians in Jerusalem, and encourages them to follow through on their promise of generosity. Paul explains that their gift is like sowing seeds and that there is a correlation between how much they sow and how much is reaped. The point Paul is trying to convey to the Corinthians is that God loves when we are generous not because we are obligated to give, but because we do so cheerfully knowing that God will make the seeds grow. When giving cheerfully there is no hesitation and no thoughts of “I should hold back to be more prudent” but rather, the giving is done out of a heart of faith that God is the one who supplies the seeds which we sow. And since God is the provider of the seeds, God cares about the heart and the manner in which we give, and not the amount.

 Cheerful generosity comes from the faith that God is the true supplier of all things, and that we are simply conduits and tools that God uses to supply for others. The promise that Paul is making here is that when we are cheerful givers, understanding that God is the one who is in control of all our resources, that God will increase our harvest of our righteousness. Do not confuse this with the “prosperity gospel” that makes it into an equation that if you give more God will give you more for yourself, rather this is explaining that God proportionately gives more to those who are faithful with what He gives to them. In other words, God is the master and we are the servants, and being a wise and good master, God grants more responsibility and resources to the servants that show they are capable of following His instructions.

 The outcome of this cheerful generosity is an abundance and overflow of thanksgiving. The product of generosity is not only that the receiver is thankful unto the Lord, but even the giver is thankful to be a part of the process of blessing.

  This Thanksgiving, let us focus on being cheerful givers unto the Lord, not withholding the seeds that God desires us to sow. There is joy in partaking in the growth of those seeds, knowing that the Lord uses humble servants to do the work which He could easily do on His own.

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