May 21
The Collection for Jerusalem Christians
2 Corinthians 9:1-13

Key Verse: Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Many Christians miss the joy of discovering for themselves that they cannot outgive God. For believers money is like love; the more you share it with others, in the name of Jesus, the more you will have.

Obviously many Christians smile when they hear such talk and dismiss it as a preacher's idle chatter. They are convinced that they must hoard their money. Instead of believing the scriptures, they prefer the wisdom of the world. That wisdom is based on fear of the future so we are admonished to "save for a rainy day." Even more the world's wisdom is that "you must look out for yourself if you expect to do well."

Once again, good friends, let us remember that we do not get our marching orders from the world! We get them from God, who longs for us to learn to depend on Him, not on our own ingenuity or our savings account. Does this mean that Christians should not save money?

No, indeed saving money is a part of our Wesleyan heritage. John Wesley taught the early Methodists to earn all they could, save all they could, and give all they could. What we must learn is that even the money we have saved belongs to God and we must never hold on to anything that becomes more important to us than obedience to God.

What we must constantly remember is that the same God who enabled us to save a few hundred dollars can also replace it should we lose it or give it away in his name to relieve the plight of a brother. If Jesus is Lord of all, then he is Lord of our savings accounts as well. If God is our Provider, is He not able to replenish our savings when we dip into them to help others?

Paul uses the word "cheerful" in describing the kind of giver God loves. Why? Is it not because God wants his people to find the joy of trusting Him rather than our money? This much is surely true: giving is a privilege for a Christian, and the more we exercise that privilege, the more we find our hearts filled with the joy of the Lord.