“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, ESV)
This week we have talked about when we give. Giving is not something that we do because the calendar obligates us to do so. Generosity is motivated by the heart.
We have also talked about what we give. Too often we default to giving material things during the holiday season. But there are gifts that are more valuable that cannot be measured in dollars.
Today, I want to talk about how we give. And if there is one word to describe how we should give it would be “joyful.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver.
Giving is not an obligation nor a responsibility. Giving is a privilege. It is a natural response of faith. In many ways, it is a measure of our faith. Greater faith will lead to greater generosity. Generosity is a spiritual gift that provides evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.
We rarely find joy in things we do out of obligation. There are many things that are tied to religious practice that easily become an obligation. Examples include worship attendance, serving, and giving. We teach these things as expectations when a person becomes a member of our church.
But it all goes back to the “why.” What is the motivation? It is not about maintaining good standing as a member of a church. Our motivation is God. It is the gift of Jesus in the manger. It is the forgiveness offered through the cross. It is the hope he gives through the resurrection.
Our giving is worship that we offer. Worship is about what is worthy. It is about what is worthy of our time, our money, and our energy. We give our resources to the things that are important to us. For some of us, work is important. So we give our time to our work. Our desks become our altars. For some of us, entertainment is important. We give our money toward tickets and systems that allow us to witness the entertainment. The places of worship are stadiums and concert venues. We have little reluctance to give time and money to these causes when we deem them worthy. There is no second thought.
Most people are generous. That is not the question. The bigger question is: what we are generous towards? The way we spend our time and money shows our priorities. They weigh the affection of our hearts. Kingdom generosity will never happen because we need to be generous. Generosity is developed out of the affection of our hearts. It is motivated by the gospel of Jesus.
- Do you consider yourself a reluctant or joyful in your generosity? Why or why not?
- Where does the affection of your heart lie?
Lord, thank you for your generosity shown in the gift of Jesus. Thank you for the forgiveness of the cross and the hope of the resurrection. Forgive me for my misplaced affection. Give me a deeper understanding and appreciation of your amazing love in my life that I would be motivated and inspired to live lavishly generous. In Jesus’ name. Amen.