October 23, 2017

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT) — 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

In chapters 8 & 9 of 2Corinthians Paul talks about giving. He instructs the believers to set aside their predetermined amount on the first day of the week; this would be the tithe or 10% of what they earn. He talks about giving offerings which would be over and above the tithe and he also talks about giving to others in need; which would be over and above their tithes and offerings.

To Paul if you are a  Christian then giving becomes as natural to you as breathing. In order to live we must breathe and Paul is indicating here that in order to claim to be a Christ follower ‘you must’ decide to give. After all Jesus Christ was a giver. He gave up his home in heaven in order to come here and give his life for us so that we could be freed from the power and penalty of our sins and eventually he would give us heaven which would be a place free from the presence of sin.

So the question is: Are you a Christ-Follower? If you said ‘Yes’ does your giving support that ‘yes’? If Christ-Followers could only be identified by their giving would you be instantly identified? Could you be convicted of being a Christ-Follower  based solely on the evidence presented by your check book or bank statement? Does Hilltop Celebration Church receive your tithe? Does Hilltop Celebration Church receive your offerings? When there are other special needs that you are aware of do you give what you can afford? Or do you find yourself giving excuses for not tithing, not giving offerings and not meeting special needs?

Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t offer the Father an excuse as to why he couldn’t become human and come to earth? Doesn’t it thrill your heart that Jesus didn’t make up excuses for why he couldn’t go to the cross on our behalf? Excuses were not in the DNA of Jesus. Generosity was a huge part of his DNA. As a Christ-Follower you have been filled with the Holy Spirit. You now have the same spiritual DNA as Jesus. The same Spirit who moved Jesus to not make excuses is now moving you in the same direction. The question is, will you follow? The same Spirit that moved Jesus to generosity now is now moving you toward generosity. Same question; will you follow? Paul wasn’t timid at all when he said, “You must.”

I would suggest reading chapters 8 & 9 in 2 Corinthians so you really grasp all that Paul is saying. There are many blessing to be gleaned from giving generously that you won’t want to miss out on.

Be Inspired Hilltop!