If we’re supposed to be cheerful all of the time (Phil 4:4), then it should be no surprise that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7)! It’s easy to get stuck on the giving, forgetting that God doesn’t want us to become pre-occupied with what we give (Mt 6:3) - and never quite get to the joy we’re invited to here…
God wants to make us joyful in His house (Is 56:7) - that has everything to do with worship! When we worship Him, we rejoice! We rejoice in His glory, in His kindness, in His mercy… And because we are made cheerful by who He is, we are empowered to rejoice even in who we are before him… even in our weakness (2Cor 12:10)! So if God wants us to be cheerful givers - that is not just about what we have or do, but has everything to do with who we are before Him.
It’s a familiar parable to us, the master comes back to the servants to whom He has entrusted his property. To the first, who have been good stewards, the Lord is generous. To the last, who for fear has failed to steward what belongs to the Lord, but instead has gone about his own business, the Lord is angry. Reading between the lines, the Lord’s anger reminds us that His love is jealous.
If I had more faith in the integrity of our banking system, I’d be less perplexed by the parable as a commendation of a good investment. It’s too easy to imagine this episode as though it were on the Apprentice… but this parable really isn’t about shrewd business & prosperous economics.
Whether you have a lot, or just enough, everything that you have is the Lord’s! There is nothing that you can give the Lord that He has not first given you… Jesus does not covet your money - He is jealous after His Father’s glory, of whose image we are all witnesses. You have been created by Him to minister to Him, and given a unique purpose and role to play in His glory. As we worship Him, ordering our whole lives towards Him, we should expect to be getting excited and overjoyed - no matter what our circumstances.
Whether we are giving, receiving, investing, increasing… or whatever we do with our money… the invitation is the same. The point is who you are before God! If you aren’t joyful when you make decisions about your giving, God is inviting you to encounter something more of who He is…
Pieter is on staff as an intercessory missionary at Manchester House of Prayer. With a heart to see families grow in prayer together, he is developing our Family Prayerwatch. He also serves in the prayer room as a worship leader, singer and prayer leader.