Quote: As God loveth a cheerful giver, so He loveth a cheerful taker who takes hold on His gifts with a glad heart.
Biblical Illumination: Ps. 37: 4 Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Plain Talk: You heard it said many times, “God loves a cheerful giver.” This is the marque spirit of the Christian faith, which demonstrates the essence of Jesus’ ministry (2 Cor 9:7). This phrase has been stated in an array of stories and themes; stories we have often expressed to our children and grandchildren. Why? Because this spirit of service is commanded, expected, and desired of us. The more one gives, the greater the fulfillment and contentment of that soul. God has designed us to be just like Him, and that service to our fellow man opens the spirit of Jesus within us. Everything He (Jesus) did was for the well being of His sheep (christians) (John 10:11).
Yet, the quote above by John Donne, contradicts everything Jesus stood for, right? No, it doesn’t, if you understand what John is saying. First, he doesn’t say not to serve, but to be a servant one must become like the Master. And, becoming like the Master means, I humbly receive His wonderful gifts-Holy spirit, salvation, and His precious Word. That may seem easy, but receiving for most people is more difficult than giving.
Let me give you an everyday example you can relate too: You go out to dinner and the person you’re with volunteers to pay for the meal. You immediately go into full defense and object and say “Absolutely not, I’ll not have none of that, I’ll pay for my own, or no I’ll pay for yours.” You continue to say, “Just stop and let me pay.” Well, they win on a technical knockout, and you at least compromise and pay for the tip. Ahh, all better now, you say to yourself, almost had to humble myself and let them pay for it all. Sound familiar? Of course, we naturally don’t want to show weakness and helplessness in any manner. We have been told it is better to give than receive.
Unfortunately, that is how we are with the grace and gifts of our Lord. We want to emphasize our works and show everybody how we really don’t need all that grace and gifts, only what we think is best. That individual is missing out on God’s love and sacrifice. They don’t understand that to inherit the gifts of God one must be in the receiving mode. Humble persons take as well as give. Let’s do more taking of God’s Son and when we are filled to the brim of His grace, let’s get out there and be sure to share with others what we have taken. But, of course, always be willing to receive with a humble heart those wonderful friendships in which God has bestowed upon our lives as well as reap the truly magnificent rewards this life has to offer.
Grace & Peace,