Good afternoon Church! This past weekend was soooooo good. Many marriages are being helped during the "Mannequin" series. Last night's graduation service was so exciting…I mean to see the accomplishments of those who have worked so hard. Congratulations to all, especially Michael Butler and Kevin Wilberding, wjo earned their bachelor's degrees, and Sean Spinks who was licensed. Everyone has worked hard and deserves to be celebrated!
"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver"- 2 Cor. 9:7
This whole chapter is about giving. What everyone needs to realize is that giving is a matter of the heart. Most of us can be made to feel guilty enough to give to a cause, but the Bible is clear here that our motivation to give should not come from guilt, but from the heart. As a pastor, I have encountered many who resist giving in any systematic way, such as God's idea of tithing, and instead want to give as they "feel led". I usually leave these people alone, not trying to twist their arm, because the issue is not a "head" issue, but a "heart" issue. The change doesn't occur by reason, but by: 1) our being so in love with Jesus that we are willing to obey Him in EVERY area of our lives, even our money, and 2) realizing that when the enemy convinces a Christian not to tithe, he is not so much after their money, but their HEART! But when that believer's supply begins to dry up, many times they will come back to obedience to God.
After all, money is not the main thing, but rather a tool and a test. A tool to get the gospel out, and a test for us so that we can be entrusted with real Kingdom stuff! (Luke 16:11-12) So let's be faithful in every area of our lives, and deal with our hearts. It's then that we can be "cheerful" about giving!