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Give with a cheerful heart (11/25/2007)
From: David Foss

Galesville, Wis.

Are we going to have enough to meet our needs if we give our tithes and offerings to meet the needs of God's church? Of course. If we are a child of God, He has promised to meet all of our needs. The widow mentioned in the Bible gave all that she had and God certainly continued to meet all of her needs. Mark 12:42-44 Luke 21:1-4 Of course this is an example that lets us know that no matter how little we have, we can and should give something to the work of the Lord...we will be greatly blessed by such an offering...we will experience the joy of giving...we will still have all of our needs met. Philippians 4:19

We can, with clenched fist, greedily keep all that God gives us and withhold every cent to help meet the needs of God's church, but this greediness will rob us of some eternal reward. Any eternal reward will be a non-ending job, yet we mindlessly toss this great reward away for some trivial and temporary, earthly joy. Compared to heavenly joy, earthly joy is but a speck in the galaxy.

Why do we want to have more than our neighbor? Having more than someone else will never result in lasting happiness. This might seem unbelievable, but it is true: We can and will be happier with less. If you need proof, ask those who give their tithes and offerings with a cheerful heart. Acts 20:35b The happiest people in the church are those who give their tithes and offerings...are those who give willingly and with a cheerful heart. Those who give grudgingly might as well not give anything because God isn't going to bless or reward a skinflint on earth or in heaven.

One day we will have much more than a neighbor who never gave to the work of the Lord. When we enter heaven we will begin enjoying God's eternal reward for giving cheerfully to the Lord; after all, giving monetarily to the work of the Lord is a good work. Revelation 22:12

Here is another example of a good work. A father decided to take his family out for a pizza dinner. It would cost him fifty dollars. He then heard of a family that had a financial need, so this father decided to give this needy family the fifty dollars that he had planned on spending for the pizza dinner. There is no denying that the pizza dinner would have been enjoyable, but this joy would have only lasted for a very short period of time. Now, however, this father will have a reward in heaven that he will enjoy forever. Wow! What a trade-off! Are we willing to give up some temporary joy for some eternal joy? The opportunities for us to store up treasures in heaven are ever before us. Matthew 6:19-21 Titus 3:8 Hebrews 13:16

If God is going to give a banquet for those who have given their tithes and offerings, is He going to exclude those who were only able to give a paltry amount? Can an air pocket hold change? Absolutely not. God isn't going to have those who gave with a cheerful heart sitting at different tables, such as: (1) one table with only hotdogs and water for those who gave the least (2) one table with hamburgers, fries and soda for those who gave a bit more and (3) one table with all the trimmings for those who gave the most. No. All those who gave as unto the Lord, with a cheerful heart, will be feasting at the table with all the trimmings, no matter what amount they have given.

It is not the amount we give that we should be concerned about. It is the attitude of our hearts. Do we give with a cheerful, eager heart or a begrudging, tight-fisted heart? If a meager amount is all that we can give, this good work will reap the same reward as someone who gives a great deal more - provided, of course, that both have given with a cheerful heart. God certainly isn't going to reward us if we hold back what we should have given (tithes and offerings) or if we give grudgingly. II Corinthians 5:10

Do we have eternal reward awaiting us because of our giving? If we long to have eternal reward all we have to do is give with a cheerful heart.

Ponder Acts 20:35b Luke 6:38 II Corinthians 9:6-7 Matthew 16:27



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