Giving Cheerfully—Blessing Bountifully

Giving Cheerfully—Blessing Bountifully

     As I was growing up, it was not unusual in our home to see my parents helping a friend or neighbor. As they gave in various ways, Mom and Dad got the joy of cheerfully giving to make another person’s life better, and in return they received blessings as well.
     I watched them time and again provide meals for neighbors or take individuals to doctor appointments or be that concerned listener when someone needed an attentive ear. I watched them give unselfishly of their time and abilities, and I saw how blessed they were to give to those who needed their help.
     As I have grown in the Word, I have enjoyed gaining a greater understanding of what it means to give cheerfully of my time and abilities. We’re going to look in God’s Word at how we are to give and how rewarding it is. We will see why it is important to God that we give with a cheerful heart, and we’ll also explore some practical ways that we can give. Life takes on exciting dimensions as we go forth giving cheerfully—blessing bountifully.
     A basic principle that God had Paul write to the believers at Corinth is that of giving and receiving. The context of II Corinthians 9 is the topic of abundant sharing, but the truths found within this section apply to the giving we do in any category.
II Corinthians 9:6-8:
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
     Let’s take a closer look at each of these verses and enjoy what God has to say as He lays out His heart to us.
Verse 6:
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
     Within this verse are two key words that we should look at in more detail in order to gain a better understanding of how to bring great benefit to our lives. The word “sparingly” means frugally or meagerly, whereas “bountifully” means liberally, amply.
     When farmers plant crops for the season, they keep in mind that they will need to plant enough extra seeds to allow for those that will go to the birds, insects, and rodents. If they sow sparingly, frugally, or meagerly, they can anticipate reaping a meager, frugal return. But on the other hand, if they plant an abundant amount of seeds, they anticipate the return to be very bountiful. As we bountifully sow our “seeds of giving” to bless others, we can expect God to bountifully bless us.
II Corinthians 9:7:
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
     Each one of us “purposeth,” chooses, or decides what and how he gives. When we give sparingly or frugally, we reap sparingly, but when we give generously and bountifully, we see an abundant harvest. Look at this verse in The Amplified Bible.
Verse 7:
Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].
     What does it mean to be a cheerful giver? In addition to “cheerful” being joyous and prompt to do it, Bullinger’s lexicon states that this word denotes one “whose countenance shineth as it were with joy and satisfaction.” A cheerful giver enjoys what he is doing. As we give cheerfully, we shine joyfully. In God’s Magnified Word in the chapter called “The Joy of Our Hearts,” Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille wrote: “Even if we are right in the midst of all negatives, we can have joy because joy is an inner quality. It comes by renewing our minds on the Word and letting the presence of that Word stay there, absolutely refusing to allow anybody or anything to interfere with it.”
     From this verse in The Amplified Bible, we see that God esteems a cheerful giver with such love that He takes pleasure in him—He prizes him! Our giving with the right attitude is important to God.
     Giving reluctantly, sorrowfully, or out of obligation is very different than giving with a cheerful, joyful heart. When we are faced with the opportunity to give, God wants us to choose to have a willing, joyful, “prompt to do it” attitude, ready to bless others in our fellowships, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. We can keep in mind that it is “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). This prevents a reluctant or resentful attitude that would hold us back from giving joyfully.
     So often, as we give to others, we get greater joy out of giving than the one who receives what we’ve done for them. This idea was prevalent in the Eastern culture of the Bible because the people believed that the way to serve God was to serve their fellow man….

This is an excerpt from the March/April 2010 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2010 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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