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2 Corinthians 9:7

It was a cold afternoon as a well-dressed gentleman walked to a waiting limousine. A homeless man approached him and said, “Sir, would you please help me – please, Sir?”
“Here’s a dollar,” said the man gruffly, “not because you deserve it, but because it gives me a certain amount of happiness to contribute to your well-being.”
“Oh, thank you, Sir,” he said, “but why not make it fifty dollars and really make yourself happy?”
Our giving reflects our attitude about God’s faithfulness. That’s why Paul wrote, “Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. God loves the person who gives cheerfully! And God will provide everything you need!”
Often we hesitate to give more generously to God because we worry about having enough money to meet our needs should we encounter difficult times. We want to be certain that we have enough for today and a little for tomorrow – should it come. But God, Paul promises, will provide for everything that we need.
Could it be that we fail to be more generous because we do not know what tomorrow will bring? Will sickness strike? Will we lose our job? Inherit a fortune? Receive an unexpected gift? Is it not a lack of trust in the goodness of God that causes us to hold on to what we have rather than holding on to the promise of the fact that He will provide for whatever we need?
Prayer: Lord, perhaps we are afraid to give because we fear the unknown. Your Word, Father, assures us of Your love and faithfulness when we fully trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 9:7– 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.
Herb had been dating Liz for about a year. He was deeply in love with her and finally decided that he would ask her to marry him. So, he went to a jewelry store and used all of his hard earned savings to purchase an engagement ring for her. Unfortunately, the rings were more expensive than he imagined and he had little money to spend and had to settle for one with a small diamond.
One evening he took her to dinner and after they ordered their meal, with a shy, trembling voice he asked, “Liz, will you marry me?”
“Oh yes, of course I will,” said Liz.
With tears in his eyes he presented the ring to her and said, “Liz, I’m sorry, so sorry that the diamond is not as big as I wanted it to be or as large as my love.”
“Oh my,” said Liz, “that doesn’t matter. The diamond is as big as we make it!”
How very true! Value is always in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?
We often substitute things rather than thoughtfulness or gifts rather than goodness. We even confuse large with lovely or big with beauty. Often we substitute spending time with someone by offering them a present instead of ourselves.
When we give something to someone, especially God, cost doesn’t matter. What we keep for our self does.
Prayer: May we realize, Lord, that giving reflects the sincerity of our heart not the size of the gift. May we show our love more by what we do than what we give. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 9:7 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.
Danny was kneeling next to his bed saying his prayers. Hands folded, eyes shut, his mother heard him praying: “Lord, my brother still doesn’t have a job and he sure needs one. And my sister, Ruth, she hasn’t had a date for a long time and she’s getting pretty old. And you know about Mon – she’s no better and may have to go back to the hospital. And Dad hasn’t gotten the promotion his boss promised him. You know, God, I’m really getting tired of praying for my family and not getting any results. Have you quit listening to me?”
Ever feel like Danny? No doubt most of us have.
Thank God for John’s insight: “And we can be confident that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will. And if we know He is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that He will give us what we ask for.”
John’s emphasis here is on God’s will – not our wants. And there is a dramatic difference between the two. Too often when we take our requests to the Lord they do not fit His will for our lives. We ask selfishly and do not take into consideration how what we want may differ from what we need to be and what He has designed for us to do. We need to align our requests with His will. The ultimate test of any prayer is: Lord, give me this for Your sake in Your name for Your will.
Prayer: Lord, help us to understand how to pray and what to pray for. May we accept the delays knowing that Your will is much better than our wants. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 9:7 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.