Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

God loves a cheerful giver

God loves a cheerful giver. But I've never really considered the original context of the Scripture this quote is lifted from. This is one of a few passages that speak of a taking up a "collection for the saints". Who was this money going to? How often? Why?

In 2 Cor 8:1 - 5 we learn that the believers in Macedonia had begged Paul and company to allow them to send a generous gift to the believers in Jerusalem. It is likely the believers in Jerusalem were in some economic downturn - it may have been a result of a famine around 40 A.D.

It seems Paul sends Titus to the Corinthians to give them the opportunity to care for the believers in Jerusalem the same way. (2 Cor 8:6)

Paul and Titus are helping coordinate the sharing of wealth and resources from some believers who had plenty, to others who were in a time of need.

There was no obligation attached. Nobody was required to give. But there was the recognition that God had bless them with love and life, and they should respond with love to others. (2 Cor 8:8-9)

2 Cor 8:13-14
"Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,"

We should note the plan wasn't for a regular flow of cash in one direction.

2 Cor 9:6-7 (HCSB)
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

May we also follow the example set before us in this passage. When we see brothers and sisters in a time of need, may we be generous and care for their needs.

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Steve Martin said...

"God loves a cheerful giver"

That verse always has convicted me.

I should be...but not too often.

Jonathan said...

Me too. However lately I feel it's been getting easier to give cheerfully. Now that I've recognized the 10% tithe to a local organization isn't a law I need to follow I feel a new bit of freedom to give cheerfully where God prompts.