Engaged Giving

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  Mary therefore took a pound  of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:3)

As followers of Jesus, we are called to be generous and giving. The Lord loves it when we give, and He enjoys watching us act generously. Let’s look at how God enjoys it when we give from what we have been given:

1. God enjoys our giving when it is connected.
For many of us, we don't understand the power of connection and how our giving can be connected. We just write a check, put some money in the offering plate, or give to someone. Sometimes, we do it out of obligation or because of some sense of legalism. We just go through the motions, and it's not very connected. God wants our giving to be emotionally and personally connected.

2. God enjoys our giving when it is personal.
God also enjoys our giving when it is personal. The gift of perfume did not come from the family of Lazarus; it came from Mary, personally. It was Mary who took this perfume, this nard, and anointed the Lord. It was worth a year's salary, and it was unbelievably personal to her. You really learn the joy of giving when it is personal.

3. God enjoys our giving when it is sacrificial.
God wants us to learn what it means to be sacrificial and extravagant in our giving. This means that we learn how to give when it doesn't make sense. There is no wonder Scripture says that God loves a hilarious giver, a cheerful giver. That word “hilarious” is the Greek word for “cheerful.” Your giving should cause you to say, “I can't believe I'm giving that much!” This is exactly why God enjoys our giving. He enjoys our giving when we give like that, when we take our hands off of controlling our resources.

4. God enjoys our giving when it is engaged.
God wants you to do more than just show up; He wants you to jump in, and that is very important. It is not so He can get more of your money to accomplish His Kingdom's work; He already has all of the money! God wants us to give of our time and our talents. Do something tangible and get engaged! He has a strong desire for us to learn to be givers. When we learn to be engaged givers, God enjoys our giving!

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