“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV)
If you want to measure how much you understand grace and how much you’re living by grace, look at your giving.
The Bible says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV).
Notice the “alls” — “all grace,” “all things,” “at all times,” “having all that you need” — those are the promises related to the person who becomes like Christ. What was Christ like? He was a giver. God loved the world so much that he gave. Until you learn to be generous with your time, money, resources, and opportunities, you’re not going to be like Christ. Nothing is greater proof that you understand grace than being lovingly gracious and generous to other people and to God.
If you’re uptight or defensive when your pastor starts talking about giving, it means you don’t understand grace. Look at the verse again. He says if you give cheerfully and liberally, God will take care of all your needs — all the time, in every way, however you need them.
Here’s the question: Are you going to trust the God who gave his life for you? If you can trust him enough for salvation, can’t you trust him in your finances?
The truth is, you really don’t own anything. God just loans it to you for 70 or 80 years. It’s all His in the first place. If my daughter comes to me, and I give her five bucks to buy me a present, where’s the money really coming from in the first place?
God does that with us. He gives to us generously. Then he says, “Now show a little gratitude. Be generous in giving, including your tithe.” Does he need the money? No. He wants you to become like him. He wants you to have a heart that says, “I can’t wait to give in every area.”
Romans 8:32 says, “Since God loved us enough to give us his own son, won’t he love us enough to take care of every one of our other needs?”
The fact is, you can say you love God and sing that you trust God and put him first, but your checkbook is where you can show just how much God’s grace means to you.
Talk It Over
Would you call yourself a cheerful giver? Why or why not?
How have you seen God bless your finances or provide for you as you have been faithful to tithe?
In what ways does your life reflect gratitude for God’s grace?
Pastor Rick Warren
Reposted with permission. The original post can be found HERE.