Summary: God said that he loved the cheeful giver, but is it possible to be a hilarious giver?
Is It Possible to be a Hilarious Giver?
2 Cor. 9:7
The word that is translated “cheerful” in our text is the Greek work hilaron. It is the word from which we get our English word hilarious. Paul declared that “God loves the hilarious giver.” Some people seriously question whether it is possible for any except the rich to be hilarious givers. Hilarious giving is not, however, to be restricted to the affluent.
I. Under certain conditions hilarious giving would be impossible.
a. Hilarious giving is impossible if life is considered only in terms of an abundance of things
i. Luke 12:15, “Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your uard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.””
1. Jesus warned us against considering the acquiring of an abundance of material things as the primary objective for living.
2. He declared and people have affirmed that an abundance of material things does not guarantee happiness.
b. Hilarious giving is impossible if life is lived in only one dimension
i. Luke 12:21, “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
1. The rich fool lived as if he were a creature of time alone.
2. He completely ignored eternity.
3. Paul commended the Philippians because of their investments in his missionary work.
a. He affirmed that by these contributions they would reap spiritual dividends of eternal significance.
4. He who has no faith in eternity will find it impossible to invest his resources or energies in that which is not tangible and visible.
c. Hilarious giving is impossible if God is considered as an untrustworthy cheat.
i. Malachi’s God’s prophet indicted the people of his day for stealing from God.
1. They had refused to bring their tithes and offerings into the storehouse of God.
2. In the final analysis their refusal to tithe was an indication of their lack of faith in the goodness of God.
ii. If faith in the generosity of God had filled their hearts, they would have joyfully brought their tithes into God’s storehouse.
d. Hilarious giving is impossible if you do not have faith in the generous provisions of God.
i. Matt. 6:26-30, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And why are you by being worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more cloth you? You of little faith!”
1. One of the excuses that is most often given for stinginess is that of personal need and a fear of failure to be able to provide the necessities of life in the future.
2. Jesus encouraged his disciples to avoid worry by exercising faith and putting forth an honest effort.
ii. The next time you begin to worry about if you can tithe or not, go outside and listen to the birds and watch the flowers grow.