“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. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV
Someone walked into my kitchen and asked why I had a small vase of weeds displayed on my countertop. I replied, “Because a special little boy picks them for me everyday.” They wondered out loud, “Why would you keep them if they’re ugly?” to which I responded, “They’re beautiful to me because of who they’re from.” You see, I don’t keep those weeds because they’re the prettiest plant in the world; I keep them because they’re from the sweetest boy in my world. It’s a special gift he loves to share with me, and that means more than a room full of roses anyone could buy.
Every time I walk past those half dying weeds bending over in that vase, I smile just picturing the excitement on my little boy’s face and how happy he is to run and meet me with his ”Pwetty fwowerth.” I can’t help but wonder if that’s how God views our gifts towards Him? In comparison to His glory, I’m sure anything we have to give are as old, ugly weeds, lacking eternal bliss. However, I believe He too must value the genuine “treasures” we have to share with Him, like that of His own, because more importantly than the gift, God sees the giver. Luke 21 shares about a widow who gave a very small offering, probably the least amount of all who visited the temple, but Jesus honored her because she gave ALL SHE HAD. You see, it’s not about the quantity of our gifts, but the quality of our sacrifice. God looks at the heart behind the offering; the beauty in the surrender, and the joy in the service.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8 reminds us that “God loves a cheerful giver.” And what better gift do we have to give to an Almighty God than that of ourselves? Every day we have an opportunity to offer our time, our talents, our possessions, our love, our commitment, and our worship to the very Lord who put the breath in our lungs. He is so worthy! Whether being generous comes easily to you, or it’s something you are working toward, remember what you give back to God will mean more than anything you could ever hold onto. (Whether that be what you have, what you want, or what’s hard to let go of.)
Your offering to God is what you choose to give back for all He has given you. It may not be wrapped in fancy bows or placed on a silver platter. It might just be finding your beautiful weeds and handing them over, you know, the “real” moments of life that aren’t always so pretty. The truth is, the Lord sees your late nights, your early mornings, what you’ve given up for your family, and what you’ve surrendered for His will. He knows your motives and understands your limitations. He realizes what you’ve gone through and how you’ve persevered through the pain. Every ‘beautiful weed’ you share with Him is displayed on the altar of praise and is like a sweet smelling aroma of worship to Him. Don’t hold back. Don’t lose sight. Everything you do for your family is in fact an act of service to the Lord.
Verse 8 shares what living this kind of lifestyle will lead to, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” The blessing of living a generous life may not gain earthly rewards or personal advances. No, the blessing is having Christ. Excelling with Christ. Suffering with Christ. Serving with Christ. He is the reason for our work, the purpose in our plans, and the reward of it all. What a joy it is to love Him, serve Him, and worship Him!
“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. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV
Jesus, You can have it all. I am a broken vessel who just wants to honor You in all I do. May the sacrifices I make and the offering I give back to You be a beautiful gift in your sight. For You are my greatest reward. Amen