The apostle Paul encouraged the church at Corinth to excel in its giving, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed…” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
The point of these encouraging words is that God supplies abundantly so that we may give from the abundance of His generosity. That’s how joy in giving is received. Joy comes when you know that you have given according to the abundance of God’s amazing grace toward you.
A mother wanted to teach her little girl a lesson on generosity. She gave the child a one-dollar bill and a shiny new quarter. She told the girl, “Now, you give to the church when the offering plate passes which ever one you want and keep the other one for yourself.” After church on the way home, the mother asked the girl, “Which one did you give?” The daughter answered, “I was about to give the dollar bill, but as I was about to put it in the plate, the preacher said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew that I would be more cheerful with the dollar than with the quarter, so I gave the quarter.”
That’s the way a lot of people measure joy. Joy to them is calculated by what they keep rather than what they give. Aren’t you glad that God does not withhold from us that way? God is not stingy. He is lavish and generous toward us. Under these circumstances, God is the most joyful giver there is, because his blessings never diminish. No one can say that God “sows sparingly.” When we “sow bountifully” like God does, we share in His joy.
Offering Envelopes are now available for you to use in giving your weekly contributions to the ministry of the church. I have been putting my offerings in envelopes like those prepared for our church since I was a child. My mother started putting an offering in an envelope for me every Sunday from the time I was big enough to put it into the offering plate by myself. I cannot remember not taking an offering envelope with me to church. Giving has been a part of my life forever. Even in the off weeks when I do not give money, I still use my offering envelope to record my contacts each week. If I did not give my tithe or did not put my envelope in the offering plate, I would be miserable. Something important would be missing in my life. I thank God for the joy of giving every Sunday because the Lord has been so generous to me. God loves a cheerful giver!