“But this I say, he that sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly—and he who sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give—not grudgingly or of necessity—for God loves a cheerful giver.”

II Corinthians 9:6-7

Closed hands and cold hearts always go together.

Picture if you will a sower in Jesus’ day going out to his field in the Springtime to sow his seed.  Around his neck hangs his bag of seed and his mission for the day is to cover his field before the day is through.

The ground has been plowed.  The large clods have been broken up.  The sun’s shining.  A cool breeze is blowing.

Yet, he is afraid that the wind might blow his seed away before it hits the ground.  Or, the blackbirds in the nearby trees might eat the seeds before they find lodging in the soil.

So, instead of reaching in his bag. . .grabbing a handful of seed. . .and liberally broadcasting the seed all around him. . .he grabs only one seed between his thumb and index finger and carefully places it in the sod. . .and continues to do this seed-after-seed throughout the day.

That’d be a pretty foolish thing to do, wouldn’t it?

Most assuredly it would—for such fear and stinginess would not only be backbreaking, it would assure that there’d be no bountiful harvest in the Fall, for “he that sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly.”

Dear Pilgrim, when it comes to giving financially, a miserly mentality will always produce miserly results.  It’s the “Law of the Harvest.”  But, a “bountiful” mentality is also a “blessed” mentality and the Lord of the Harvest has promised such liberality will result in our “sufficiency in all things and an abounding in every good work” (v.8).

Pity the one who only gives “what he can afford.”  Such giving is always accompanied by a spirit of grumbling, not gratitude.  And, such giving is an affront to the One Who’s promised “to supply all of our needs according to His riches in Glory through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Now, assuredly, we are to be good stewards of God’s material blessings.  If we’re constantly giving away all of our money to charitable organizations and not taking care of our own family’s needs, we’ve basically “denied the faith and are worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8).

Bountiful giving is balanced giving.  Likewise, it is proportionate giving in response to God’s blessings in our lives.  Zaccheus gave half of his goods to the poor in response to Christ’s Love (Lk. 19:8) and the poor widow gave everything she had (Mk. 12:43-44).

Thus, it’s clear the liberality and love always travel together, as to Grace and Holy Ghost giddiness—for the Greek word “hilaron” is used for “cheerful” and also means “hilarious.”  May our joy in the Lord be so great that we’re tempted to jump up and shout the next time the offering place is passed because of the great privilege to give to the Lord and His work.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 11, 2010

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