A Joyful Sacrifice
Christian giving is an act of worship in which a grace-filled Christian joyfully releases their hold on money or possessions in order to sacrificially supply the needs of others and demonstrate their satisfaction in God, to the glory and praise of God. In 2 Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul describes how we may give in a manner that pleases God:
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:6-7)
Paul begins in verse 6 by stating a basic agricultural principle: if you sow abundantly, then you will reap abundantly. Clearly, Paul intends to remind us of the importance of sowing abundantly, but this text also implies an important question to its readers: If we see sowing (giving) as a necessary component of our faith, with a definite outcome, then what kind of givers does God want us to be? Paul answers that question both negatively and positively.
God is not pleased by any giving which is done with reluctance or out of compulsion (v. 7). Reluctant giving is done with inner sorrow over the loss of what has been given. The hands may let go, but the heart still holds on. Giving done under compulsion or pressure, rather than out of love and trust, is also not the type of sowing in which God delights. He is pleased when we cheerfully and willingly let go of our money or possessions for the good of others. God takes pleasure in our joyful sacrifice.
God is also glorified by our joyful giving. When we give joyfully, we are declaring that we treasure what God promises more than the shallow, vaporous, empty, fleeting happiness that we receive from our possessions. Our joyful giving demonstrates our delight and satisfaction in God.
As we enter into this Capital Campaign we pray that two things will be made obvious: First, our prayer is that your generosity, driven by your joy in the gospel, will bring glory to God. Second, we hope to demonstrate together that our hope and fulfillment are not found in food and drink, possessions or financial security, but that we are satisfied in Jesus alone.