Sometimes we can be extremely selfish, thinking that we don’t have enough to give. Or our ego, especially men, gets the best of us and we think only of our own needs.
You never think of Yourself first, You always think of us and that is what Jesus did when He was here. He set an example for us to follow.
It’s a shame that the rich are unable to see that, instead they think that they have given enough or they need more.
For example, Bill Gates has given billions away, but he has given it to his own Foundation which appears to help a lot of people to education, but not everyone is accepted.
He says he’s going to donate his 58 billion to charity when he dies, rather than his children – why can’t he do it now?
Oprah Winfrey gives away approximately $200 million a year. With most people that is a lot of money, but she’s worth 2.9 billion and $200 million isn’t but a hiccup.
Oprah says that we don’t need Jesus to get to heaven, is it her wealth that makes her say that? Is it because she doesn’t want to give her money away? Like the story in Matthews:
“And, behold, one came and said unto him [Jesus], Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
…There is none good but one that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honor thy father and thy mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou has, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying he went away sorrowful: for he had great possession
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:16-24).
Oprah and many others is that young man. It isn’t the giving that matters, but the heart’s desire to give. The last commandment Jesus quoted is the one the young man failed at.
I am happy that I am not wealthy, or at least not at this time. If I would have been I may be an Oprah, but since I found Jesus first if I had the wealth now I would do fine because I would spend to help the poor.
We have talked about greedy, selfishness, false teachers/prophets, so staying in there arena tomorrow we’ll look at…
2 Corinthians 9
God Loveth a Cheerful Giver
1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
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.
See Lk 6:38.
8 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:
“Always having all sufficiency in all things” – through His abounding grace, God can enable each Christian to abound in generous need – see Deut 8:18.
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth forever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
“The exceeding grace of God in you” – displayed in this unselfish demonstration of their loving concern for fellow believers who are in desperate need.
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
“Unspeakable gift” – God’s own Son (Jn 3:16). God is the first and the greatest giver; He first selflessly gives Himself to us in the person of Jesus, and all true Christian giving is our response of gratitude for this gift that is beyond description (cf. 8:9; 1 Jn 4:9-11).
God Loves a Cheerful Giver
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
This verse single-handedly sums up the reason Christians are to give. We are to give because…God loves a cheerful giver. When Christians freely give, with a gracious heart, we please God.
God is a cheerful giver and He loves when His children follow in his footsteps. Think about the many blessings God has so richly bestowed on you. He doesn’t bless us because he has to or because he feels obligated to. He gives to us, because He loves us.
In Romans it says,
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”(8:32).
From each breath you take, to the house you live in. From your job, to your children, to your ability to read and write, God has graciously given you all that you have, and the ability to do all that you can do.
There is nothing given to you that does not flow from the hand of God.
Meditate on his many blessings. Think about the cross, and the suffering that was endured for your sake. Know this of God, he is a gracious God, and he calls us to be gracious as well.
He calls us to be cheerful givers, and to freely give to others, as he has done so with us.
When we begin to catch a glimpse of the graciousness bestowed on us as sinners, how can we not desire to please God?
How can we not desire to be cheerful givers, and share some of what has so graciously been given to us?
If you love the Lord, strive to be a cheerful giver. Don’t hold back when it comes to giving.
In Psalms we read:
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11).
…early Christian heresies.