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. - 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
When we look around at all we have, we have evidence of how we are abundantly blessed. Most of us have so many things we desire to spend time decluttering. However, at L Street Mission, I have witnessed the other extreme, a true story of the widow's mite, those who have so very little yet are willing to give and share. Some give donations from their limited funds whenever they can. Others who do not have money to give are always looking for ways to help, giving of their time. It is not a requirement, we don't ask, but they do this freely and cheerfully.
God gives us many gifts. Most of us have roofs over our heads, enough to eat, clothes to wear, and money to spend on things we enjoy -- plus all those things taking up room in our attics, cellars, garages, and sheds. Yet, when it comes to giving back to God, we act as if there is a scarcity. Perhaps tomorrow, there won't be shelter, food, clothing, or cash. Yet, at the same time, we are planning the next thing we will do for pleasure. We plan dinners and vacations but secretly believe God won't provide in the future. We have too much stuff but not enough to give to God. Whatever we offer, though, we are to do so freely, “not reluctantly or under compulsion.”
God has freely given each of us the task of responsible stewardship. How much or little we offer or our resources are up to us. The church, as recipients of these gifts, also must be responsible stewards, using them wisely. We spend disproportionate hours of time and cash on maintaining our properties, with smaller amounts going to ministry and mission, getting the good news of Christ to the world, and making disciples.
God, we give you thanks for all your good gifts. We acknowledge everything we have comes from you. Please help us be cheerful givers in responding to your grace. We pray that you accept our gifts of time and money and bless them. May they be used to carry your message of redemption, encouragement, and hope to the world.