Monday, September 14, 2009

God Loves a Cheerful Giver - part 3

Supporting the Kingdom of God – Worship or Drudgery?

If you haven’t read the other two articles on this topic, check them out in the archives section of the blog.

The word of God says: “6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. “(Bolding is mine).

So God loves a cheerful giver, but how are we supposed to conjure up cheerfulness in giving when the economy tanks and our job (if we still have one) is in danger of being cut?

One of the things that I have often asked teens is, “What are the only riches that we’ll be able to take with us to heaven?” Obviously it isn’t money, or cars, or houses, or even our status in society. The only riches that we will be able to take with us when we go are our friends and family who have found true forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ. I would like to expand this to include anyone in whose lives God has used us (directly or indirectly) to bring them to an intimate relationship with God through Jesus. This is it! Also, the only thing that is within our grasp is the glory of God. Everything else that we grab for will slip right through our fingers.

“Missions exists because worship does not.” (John Piper). It has often been expounded that missions is an act of worship, indeed, it is at the very heart of God – to seek out the lost sheep to bring glory to Himself. Why is missions an act of worship? The answer is in Rev. 5:9, 10, “And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”” (bolding mine)

As we participate in seeing the lost reached with the Gospel with our finances (whether through our church in reaching folks local to us or through missionaries like Esther and I reaching the uttermost part of the world) we are actively worshipping God. We are taking our earthly treasure (where rust and moth corrupt) and transferring it to heavenly treasure! Has that been your heart as you have written checks to your home church or given your hard earned money to a missionary’s ministry? Has it been with a view of “I can’t wait to see what this small check will do for the Kingdom?” Have you given your check and as you place it in the offering plate, envelope, or offering box said, “Daddy, I sure love you! Please take this, glorify Yourself with it and make sure it is used to see people come to Jesus!” God is worthy of the praise from every tongue of every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet! Give from a heart of worship, not because the poor missionaries need it or the church accounts are in the red. Give as if Someone gave you all He had from a heart of love. God loves a cheerful giver.

The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. 2 Co 9:6-8
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Re 5:9-10