Summary: Examining the heart of a cheerful giver
A CHEERFUL GIVER. Our theme verse for this series is 2 CORINTHIANS 9:7 which says that God loves [delights in and is honored by] a cheerful giver. Therefore this series is not only to learn what God’s Word teaches us about what to give but in how to give as well. My prayer is that as God’s people we passionately desire to live lives that God is honored and glorified by and that includes how we honor and worship God with our wealth.
GOD SEES WHERE MAN CANNOT SEE. While we as your pastors and leaders can plan and lead all these various opportunities for worship, genuine worship is determined by your heart. Believe it or not, we can gather in this place, pray, sing, listen to a sermon, give, gather with a small group, fellowship and all the while God not be worshipped through it all. Truth is that thousands if not millions will fill churches on any given Sunday and go through the motions of a service and never actually worship God. They will have performed all sorts of religious rituals but not genuinely worship God. We can fool others with our actions but we cannot fool God because He sees where man cannot see—He sees our hearts. So today, as we consider together what it means to be a CHEERFUL GIVER IN WHOM GOD DELIGHTS AND LOVES we are going to see that cheerful giving flows from a THANKFUL, HONEST AND TRUSTING HEART PURPOSED TO GLORIFY HIM IN ALL THINGS AND AT ALL TIMES.
CONTEXT. Many of the psalms are songs of worship directed to God from His people. This, however, is a prophetic psalm whereby God is instructing His people regarding their worship. As we read this passage it is important that we realize that God is particularly addressing the sacrifices His people are offering up to Him. The sacrifices they were offering were in line, for the most part, with what had been prescribed in accordance to the Law but they were being offered with the wrong heart and motives. Those who were offering up their sacrifices to God were doing so thinking that GOD SOMEHOW NEEDS THEIR SACRIFICES AND THAT THEIR SACRIFICES COULD BE USED AS A BRIBE TO MANIPULATE HIM TO WORK IN THEIR FAVOR.
GOD OWNS IT ALL! 50:8-13
To those who thought that their sacrifices were needed by God and could satisfy Him as a bribe, God reminds His people that He NEEDS NOTHING from them for HE OWNS IT ALL. Unlike the false gods of the day who needed to be fed, and this was done through the sacrifices of their worshippers, the ONE, TRUE LIVING GOD needs nothing from His people. He owns it all and is perfectly self-sufficient in and of Himself. When God’s people bring to Him their offerings and sacrifices, as well as tithes and offerings for the sake of this series, we do not do so because He needs anything. So when we think about worshipping God through the giving of tithes and offerings remember this: GOD NEEDS NOTHING FROM US. However, when we worship God through the giving of tithes and offerings GOD WANTS SOMETHING FOR US. He wants for us a heart properly motivated as we worship Him. This is where He instructs us.
THE HEART OF A CHEERFUL GIVER 50:14-15
A THANKFUL HEART. This mindset of satisfying and manipulating a god through sacrifices and offerings has deep roots in paganism whereby false gods are thought to be appeased and manipulated by the frequency of their sacrifices. The One, True and Living God is not appeased or manipulated by the sacrifices and offerings of His people. THE FACT THAT GOD HAS PRESCRIBED A WAY FOR MAN TO COME BEFORE HIM IN WORSHIP IS ONLY BY HIS GRACE, MERCY AND LOVE BECAUSE SINFUL MAN DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE INVITED INTO HIS PRESENCE TO WORSHIP HIM. While we do not participate in the sacrificial system as the people of Old did, when we give of our tithes and offerings we are worshipping Him in our giving. God does not want our sacrifices and offerings given with this type of motive. HE WANTS FROM US A THANKFUL HEART. We should be thankful that we can bring something to Him and we should be thankful that we have something to bring.
• WE, OF ALL PEOPLE, HAVE THE MOST TO BE THANKFUL FOR. The Christian who has been freely forgiven and adopted into the family of God through the person and work of Jesus Christ should be infected with a heart of thanksgiving to God. The Scriptures are chocked full with instruction for God’s people to offer Him the thanksgiving that He is rightly due. PSALM 136:1-3 and 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 and REVELATION 11:16-17. When we think about our obedience to God in the giving of our wealth back to Him we have all the reason to be thankful because the only reason we have that which we have is because of His goodness and grace.