BESIDE YOURSELF WITH THE JOY OF GIVING
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Jesus inspired great joy from the moment He was born—everyone who believed in Him, approaching Him with an open heart, experienced great joy! On the night Jesus was born angels appeared to shepherds in the field. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12 KJV)
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem wise men from the east followed a special star, which went before them, until they found Him. “When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy. And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts--gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10-11 AMP)
When the wise men found Jesus, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy. The KJV says that they rejoiced with exceeding great joy and the NIV says that they were overjoyed. They came a long way to worship and honor Jesus and it was all worth it. They were overwhelmed and beside themselves with joy and they worshipped him with their heart and soul and then with their treasure. In that day, you always brought a special gift when you came before the king and they had come prepared with very precious gifts to give Jesus—gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Because the wise men honored Jesus as King, they were overjoyed to be in His presence and thrilled to shower Him with gifts. God loves to bless us, it gives Him great joy, and He would like us to feel the same way about Him!
[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings. Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 AMP
God loves a cheerful giver. The Greek word for cheerful is “hilaros” from which we get our English word “hilarious.” It means that you are happy and merry, but also prompt and willing. A cheerful giver’s heart is in his or her giving and they do it promptly without griping. There is a true saying, “Givers never gripe and gripers never give.” Your cheerful attitude sets the tone and the standard every time for your giving. People who are willing to give, are happy to give, and people who are happy to give, don’t hesitate, argue, or waste any time. They have already made up their mind to obey God and they are happy to do it. They don’t have to stop and wonder what to do next. They don’t argue with themselves over what to do. When the opportunity presents itself, they give with a happy smile.
We want God to answer our prayers promptly and to meet our needs on time and therefore we should bless Him by not hesitating to sow our seeds cheerfully and promptly.
And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever! And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity]. Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous, and [your generosity as it is] administered by us will bring forth thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 AMP