A pastor in a rural community wanted to see if a farmer in his church was willing to support the Lord’s work. As they were walking along one day, the pastor decided to ask him some direct questions. “If you had two farms,” he said, “would you be willing to give one to the Lord?” The farmer didn’t hesitate. “Why, Pastor, you know if I had two farms, I’d be glad to give one to the Lord.” The pastor asked another question, “If you had $10,000, would you give $5,000 to the Lord?” Again, there was no hesitation, “Why, of course, I would, Pastor. If I had $10,000, half of it would go right to the Lord.” The pastor had one more question, “If you had two hogs,” he said, “would you give one to the Lord?” This time there was a lengthy pause. Finally, the farmer replied, “Aw, Pastor, you know I’ve got two hogs!”
It was easy for the farmer to talk of giving so generously as long as it was something out of his reach. But when it came down to what he really did have, he wasn’t willing to part with it. He hadn’t learned to be a cheerful giver. You see, God expects us to give out of the abundance of what He has blessed us with. According to I Corinthians 16:2, each of us is to give according as God has prospered us. But how can we give cheerfully? The key to this is found in II Corinthians 8:1-5, where Paul commended the churches of Macedonia for their willingness to give. Verse 5 tells us that, before they gave financially, they first gave their own selves to the Lord. If you want to be a cheerful giver, first give yourself to the Lord, and your giving will be from a heart of love.
What to do:
✞ Pray for our missionaries of the day: Bob and Suzanne Hall to Mexico; Elaine Hawkins to Lansing Kansas.
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