Scripture: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
In God’s Word, we find many examples of people who gave faithfully, generously, and joyfully. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, Paul uses the Macedonians as an example of people who, in their extreme poverty, gave beyond their ability. Because of the famine in Macedonia at the time, they didn’t have a surplus to give from; however, they put God first and trusted in him to provide. Out of overflowing joy, they gave from their hearts.
For another example of giving from the heart, we can look at the account of the Widow’s Offering found in Luke 21:1-4. In this story, the Pharisees gave from their excess and for recognition, whereas the widow quietly dropped in two small copper coins, which was all she had. She gave from the heart. From this sacrificial gift, it is evident that she placed her total trust in God. She was relying on him for her future care. Although the Pharisees gave larger gifts than the widow, they were chastised for having hardened hearts. Even though the widow gave only a small gift, Jesus praised her for her generosity because he knew she gave from a loving heart.
A third illustration of one giving from the heart is Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). When Jesus changed Zacchaeus’ heart, he cheerfully gave away half of what he had and four times to those from whom he had cheated. Before he met Jesus, his money was his god so he hoarded it. With a changed heart, he gave generously and joyfully.
God wants our giving to come from hearts filled with gratitude for who God is and for all that he has done and continues to do for us. As we spend time in God’s Word and participate often in the Lord’s Table, our attitudes toward giving will change from seeing it as an obligation to being a privilege. May God fill our hearts with gratitude so we can experience the joy of giving to our Lord and Savior.
Prayer: Dear Lord, open my eyes to opportunities to share what I’ve been given by you with others. Amen.