I have been thinking a lot about giving and receiving lately and I wanted to share my thoughts with my friends. Here is a small picture of God’s faithfulness to me during a season of my life when my heart was being conditioned to receive and give.
A Testimony of God’s Faithfulness to Me
- Natural means were cut. I was jobless when I first moved to the DC area. Thankfully, I have a very generous father. My dad is the most generous, cheerful-giver I know. But the day came when he set a deadline to cut the cash flow. A week later, God provided a job. He knew exactly when I needed the funds.
- I beseeched God to move on my behalf. In the three months prior to receiving a job, God was training me to lean on him for provision. I prayer walked around a temp agency seven times making my request known to God. This month I celebrated my third year at Microstrategy – a connection made through that temp agency.
- I opened my hands. There was a rough patch in between temp jobs when God REALLY tested the obedience of my faith. Holy Spirit had convicted me that when I had a job in college I had not given anything to my local church. He wanted me to give the exact amount that I had been convicted to give. This wasn’t a duty of penance, but a step towards trust transfer. Because He is the one that gave to me what I had, then there was nothing of mine that He could not require of me, because everything I have is ultimately His. So I gave $300 of the $500 in my bank account to a church that makes millions every year and would probably spend it on Lysol to clean toilets. But it wasn’t about how they would use it, but about my relationship with Jesus. The next day I received an interview with Microstrategy. And He provided more than enough and continues to provide.
It’s not that God’s hands open when we open ours, but that when we open ours we experience His open hands that are standing by ready to give.
It is God’s faithfulness that fuels cheerfulness in me, causing me to give.
We are called to give, and we are called to give in a manner that bursts with joy. Sometimes it takes months to cultivate such a joy, but we should cultivate it.
We are called to give in a way that shows the all sufficiency of Jesus over the power of money. When we give hilariously, we show that Jesus is greater than the system of this world.
When we give hilariously, generously, freely, we put on display the truth that our ultimate treasure is the eternally-anchored Jesus.
Because He gave His life, we can be hilarious givers.
Giving Hearts Tuned by Receiving
Why use the word hilarious?
2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
The word is not actually cheerful, but ἱλαρός (hilarós). From this Greek word, we get our word hilarious.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen hilarious givers lately – only anxious keepers.
Holy Spirit, come explode old wineskins with new wine. We invite you.
God Loves Cheerful Hearts
It is not merely the action that God loves. He doesn’t just love givers. He isn’t impressed with law doers. But, He does love changed hearts. He loves hearts that have been effectually changed by the love of Jesus. When someone is cheerful, it is a testament to the object that has given it reason to cheer. When someone is hilarious, ready to give, it is usually because a gift that has been extended to them has impacted their heart.
When our hearts become explodingly cheerful; hilarious; it shows that Jesus has been received.
Hilaros – cheerful, joyous, prompt to do anything.
#FoodForThought – Most of us try to give to God and in turn take from people. But God has designed us to receive from God, and give to people.
We’re called to be hilarious givers – set apart to reflect our God who owns it all and gives His best to us. The only way to be a hilarious giver is by standing open handed before The Hilarious Giver who possesses all and gives generously to all who come to Him.
The requirement to be a hilarious giver is to be a hilarious receiver and go to the ultimate Hilarious Giver.
Truthfully, this is at the heart of the gospel. God gave us His Son. People who think they have enough, and rely on themselves to sustain their life will miss Him entirely. And consequently, miss eternal life.
To be continued…
For the #joysetbeforeme,