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 made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
"Yup, I knew that."
Over the years I've found myself saying those word many times, "Yup, I knew that." Understand, such a statement was not made because I am naturally brilliant or intuitive. I'm not. No, I'm able to say, "I knew that" because the Bible told me so.
Maybe I should give you an example of something I and other Christians know-something that the scientific community is just beginning to understand and explain. The March edition of Science Magazine reported that researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered when individuals contribute cash to help others they feel quite happy. When that same money is spent on themselves, there get no warm fuzzies.
Another study from a Boston firm found employees who donated a percentage of their profit-sharing bonus to good causes were happier than those who didn't.
Yup, I knew that. The Bible tells me that the person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly.
Now those researchers put forth a number of reasons why giving to others might make an individual feel good. For example, they suggest charitable giving could make a person feel noble, nicer, or even provide meaning to an individual's perspective of himself.
Maybe all those things are true, I don't know. Without the ability to look into human hearts, I would only be making a guess as to meaning and motivation.
On the other hand, we do know the Lord has told us He loves a cheerful giver. The Lord loves those people who give not because they have to, nor because they feel compelled to, nor because someone is twisting their arms.
No, God loves a cheerful giver. Indeed, how can God's people be anything but cheerful givers? Because of Jesus' gift as presented to us in His life, death, and resurrection, we have been graciously granted forgiveness and faith, hope and heaven, and peace and the ongoing presence of the Christ. Having received freely, God's people are glad to give freely.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I know You love a cheerful giver. May I who have been loved much and received much, thankfully reflect Your love to others in my giving. In Your Name. Amen.
PS- I would be remiss if I didn't stop and thank those tens of thousands of you who have faithfully supported The Lutheran Hour for seventy-eight years while it has preached a changeless Christ to a changing world. God bless you for what you have done and continue to do. And if the Spirit is motivating you to help us share the Savior with a sinful world, please use this link: https://www.lhmgift.org/forms/form_donategeneral.htm.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries