This week we have been learning that faith is believing when I don't see it, obeying when I don't understand it, giving when I don’t have it and when we do have it we are to give cheerfully.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)
I saw a bumper sticker a long time ago. It said, "God loves a cheerful giver, but He accepts from a grouch." That's funny but it's not true. God does not accept from a grouch. Why? Because God doesn't want your money if you give it grudgingly. He doesn't want your time if you give it grudgingly. He doesn't want your talent if you give it grudgingly. Why? Because God doesn't need it. He wants what it represents -- your heart. God is more interested in the attitude of your giving than He is in the amount of your giving. If you ever feel like you're pressured to give, or pressured to do something and you feel grudging, let me tell you right up front... God says "Don't bother! I don't need your money. I don't need your talent. What I want is your life." And that's why the Bible says "Where your treasure is, your heart is." If you can't give it with the right attitude, don’t.
Having been a pastor for many years, I've discovered that the most miserable people are the people who feel guilty when they're not generous and then resent it when they do give. Either way they're miserable. It is not by accident that the root of the word "miserable" is the word "miser". When I hold on to things and when I'm not generous with my life and my time and my talents and my money, when I am a miser, then I'm going to be miserable. Yet the more generous you are with your money, with your time, with your life, with your talent, with your encouragement, the more God is going to bless it.
This Sunday is the first of three Forward Faith commitment Sundays where we will be collecting our launch offerings and our 36 month pledge cards. We will also be sharing what our church has saved since paying off our existing building 13 months ago. Pastor Brant and myself will be sharing about Abraham, the father of our faith.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,