Tuesday, April 9
Scripture: 1 Samuel 6-7, Psalm 72, 2 Corinthians 9
2 Corinthians 9:2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctant or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Look at the words that Paul uses to describe the Corinthians’ attitude toward giving an offering for poor in Jerusalem: eager, ready, enthusiastic and cheerful. And if you translate the two negatives in v. 7 as positives, you could add willing and freely. Paul praised them for this attitude and promised that God would bless them for their generosity. You can’t outgive God!
Many of us experience a tightening of the heart when asked to give. Giving is not a free and joyous experience, but something we often resent and resist. What a contrasting example the Corinthians offer us! And even more—the example of Jesus. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (v. 15; also see 8:9). Jesus’ radical generosity is the motivation for ours. God is so open-handed and generous. When you follow Jesus, you begin to live more generously.
I want to live generously—not only with my money, but my time, attention, energy, help, love, forgiveness…everything. I want to be a generous person. That means being eager to give, ready and enthusiastic to give, cheerful and willing to give, and giving freely.
Prayer: Lord, give me a generous heart, characterized by all the words I’ve listed above. I know that I can never outgive you!