2 Corinthians 9:7
1. Last week we considered Matthew 6:19-21 - 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
2. We noted that Jesus teaches there that Stewardship shows the heart. Stewardship is a test.
3. We outlined Matthew 6:21 as follows: (1) the two treasures ["treasures on earth/treasures in heaven"], (2) temporary treasure ["treasures on earth"], (3) true treasure ["treasures in heaven"] and (4) the treasure test ["where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"].
4. To elaborate, we said: I. There are two kinds of treasures: earthly and heavenly, those that last and those that don’t (19a,20a)
5. Today, we turn to 2 Corinthians 9:7 - 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver
6. Here, the Bible teaches us that Christian giving ought to be cheerful giving. As Paul says "God loves a cheerful giver." This is a truly amazing assertion. Paul assures us here that the Lord takes a special delight in those who are joyful, energetic, merry givers. Is there joy in your heart as you give? Can you truly be characterized as a "cheerful giver?"
1. GIVING is a delight when we realize we are giving to God.
The Lord Jesus reminds us that our giving is ultimately to the all-seeing heavenly Father. Jesus said "When you give . . . your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4).
2. Giving is a delight when we view it as WORSHIP.
The Bible teaches that Christian giving is an act of worship. In connection with the previous point, we see this truth stressed in another way in Paul’s word’s "On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save" (1 Corinthians 16:2). Paul here teaches the Corinthians that their taking up of the collection is an act of worship which is to be a part of their regular Lord’s Day worship.
The Lord Jesus wants us to practice benevolent or charitable giving. Jesus said "When you give to the poor . . . ." (Matthew 6:2,3). Jesus is specifically teaching about "alms" in this passage: aid, charity, or benevolent offerings for the needy.
4. Giving is a delight when we realize the privilege of giving to support ministry.
1 Corinthians 9:14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
5. Giving is a delight when we realize that in giving we are acting like Jesus.
The Bible teaches that Christian giving should be done in light of the incarnation. Many Christians argue about whether the tithe (10% of our income) is still the standard for our giving to the Church (disputants usually want to show that less than 10% is fine). Paul scuttles the whole debate in one verse. He says: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ’s self-giving is now the standard for our giving! We begin from the base of the tithe and aim for emulation of his self-sacrifice.
6. Giving is a delight when we realize that God REWARDS for doing our duty.
As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:6a and c "Now this I say, . . . he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." About this matter J.A. Beet once said: "They who in giving think, not how little they can give, as they would if self-enrichment were the aim, but of benefits to be conferred, will receive back on the same principle. As they do to others, so God will act to them." Jesus reminds us of this in Matthew 6:4, where he teaches that our reward in giving comes from our heavenly Father. Matt 10:42 – Jesus will not forget so much as a cup of cold water
7. Giving is a delight when we realize that God doesn’t want our money unless we delight in giving.
The Bible teaches that Christian giving must be willing giving, free giving. We learn this in 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion." Cf. Exodus 35:5