Our Greatest Gift

"Our giving should reflect our heavenly Father. He gave of His utmost."

GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER, a generous giver, a from-the-heart giver. Someone who gives without a second thought about it and with a desire to do it again. Someone who enjoys giving. Giving is an instruction in Scripture, but to follow it as the people of Israel followed Old Covenant Law, as a means to an end, it becomes of the body and the mind and absent of the Spirit. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace. It comes without any requirement except to believe. It holds only one commandment, to love one another. Our giving should do the same.

Our giving should reflect our heavenly Father. He gave of His utmost. He gave His greatest gift, the life of His Son, and shared the inheritance He gained with any who would believe. He gave at His own expense and believed in the reward of it. It brought Him joy, though there was a cost, because He knew what He’d gain. What we give we do in His presence, hearing His heart in it, both in what we are giving and in where we give it. But even greater, as He did, we give knowing the reward is ours. Not always monetary, though our heavenly Father promises to meet our needs and to bless our gifts of money, but the reward we receive is seen in those who receive the gift. As He gave thinking of us, we give thinking of those who benefit from our giving.

How, then, can we doubt His generous heart? He gave us His best and left nothing out, not the salvation of our soul or the blessing to our health and our finances. How, then, can we pull back from giving and think solely of ourselves? A selfish gift is a proud gift, not after the heart of God. A gift done for presentation and to draw attention is wasted on the fame and notoriety it gains. Our giving is not a business deal nor a gameshow. Nor a flag. Jesus made this clear when addressing the Pharisees’ behavior.

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” (Matthew 6:1-2)

Hypocrites give to draw attention. God’s children give because they have been recreated in His image. God does many things behind the scenes. Though He created all things and is the life of all things, though He created every scientific law and holds the wisdom which Solomon spoke, though He is the present, the past, and knows the entire future, often, we see His results without there being thunderous applause. Jesus laid down His life for mankind while being mocked by those who hung Him there. And rose from the grave without an army lined up at the tomb. His own disciples didn’t recognize Him when they saw Him after His Resurrection. Mary thought He was the gardener. He wore no nameplate nor a golden crown. He knew who He was, without doubt in it, and likewise, we should know who we are in Him and model His humility, His meekness and gentleness, and His strength in both. He is the Prince of Peace. This bears some time in our thoughts. He approached situations in peace and responded in peace. He died to bring peace.

His instructions to us to be people of peace, to be generous-hearted and cheerful givers, to love one another and show the behavior of love, are not simply rules of obedience we do to avoid punishment. The whole point of the Scriptures is to teach us to think differently. The Holy Spirit was sent to us so that we would have the very power Jesus had that enabled Him to live above strife and envy and selfishness. He is our generous gift, and so we become generous givers, looking for opportunities to give of our money, our time, our talents, as He directs us to do. We reflect, not the system of tough laws we cannot continually obey, but the mindset of the Savior Himself and our Father who spoke through Him. We no longer think out of fear. “What if I do this and I make things tough for myself?” But out of confidence that the God who would do so much for us, will multiply back to us to excess, all that we’ve given to Him.

And there is where our generosity centers. We think not of what we’re losing but that He has our whole heart in the giving and the use of the gift itself. God desires all of us. We are to be a living sacrifice, and only when we are willing to lay down what we’ve gained in our own strength and trust Him with it, will the devil lose his hold over us. Jesus said we cannot serve God and money. I would add, Nor anything that resembles its influence. God must be first. If He isn’t, then our trust is not fully in Him but is misplaced. There is nothing to be gained outside of Him that will hold any lasting significance. There is nothing we gain here on earth that we can take with us except what we do for Him, and it must be done with a cheerful heart, with joy and faith in the God who is the Source and model for all giving.

2 Corinthians 9:7
(KJV) “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

(BBE) “Let every man do after the purpose of his heart; not giving with grief, or by force: for God takes pleasure in a ready giver.”

(CEV) “Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don't feel sorry that you must give and don't feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give.”

Suzanne D. Williams, Author