The Bible passage for prayer, meditation, and reflection for this week, the week of May 14-20, 2017, is II Corinthians 9:6-9. Paul is proud of the attitude previously displayed by the Corinthians when giving. He was encouraging them to continue giving with such a joyful attitude.
[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings. Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever! (II Corinthians 9:6-9, AMP)
In a small city, there is a large church with many members and several different community outreach projects. One Sunday, this large church had a guest speaker. The speaker spoke from this week’s passage, with a message about cheerful giving. Many speakers and pastors seek to inspire change through their messages, but this particular speaker sparked a visible change within a church, a lasting change. Can you guess the change? Following that speaker’s message, every time an offering plate was passed in that church, the congregation applauded! They clapped not for the amount of money the church received, or to make those who gave feel good about themselves; they clapped as a reminder, a reminder to themselves, and to each other that when they give, they are to give cheerfully and willingly! Each church member knows why they clap, even if they were not at the sermon that particular Sunday and, when a guest to the church asks why they are applauding, they are able to respond accordingly.
As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, ask yourself if you are applauding when you give? Are you applauding for the right reasons?