When we think of giving, we often think of it as an obligation or something that we have to do. But the truth is, God wants us to give with a cheerful heart. He desires for us to give freely and joyfully, not out of duty or obligation.
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “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.” It’s clear from this Scripture that God wants us to give cheerfully and willingly.
When deciding on how much to give and where it will go, pray about it and ask God what He wants you to do. He will lead you in the right direction and show you how best to use your resources. Once you have made your decision, it’s important to be consistent with your giving so that it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle.
When the time comes to actually give, don’t simply give out of obligation or duty, but instead do so with a happy heart – after all, God gave you everything you have, and He wants you to share it with others! Giving can be an incredibly rewarding experience when done out of love and joy. Not only will the recipient be blessed by your gift, but you too will feel uplifted, knowing that you are following God’s commands and bringing Him glory through your acts of kindness.
So remember: when it comes time to give, make sure that your contribution is done cheerfully and willingly with a happy heart! Be happy that God first gave it to you so that you have the opportunity to give to others.
2 Corinthians 9:7
2 Corinthians 8:3-4
2 Corinthians 9:13
Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you for tuning in today and spending time with us today. We are Social Media Ministries where our hope and our mission is to spread the living Word of Christ to as many people as possible through the use of social media.
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Today we are talking about how you need to be a cheerful giver. Now what is cheerful giving? Well before we dive into cheerful giving and exactly what that means, we need to specify a little bit more about giving and about tithing.
Now we did a message on tithing. Tithing is different from giving. You can check that out in a card or the YouTube channel. If you are listening you can check it out on the YouTube channel, hit the video and there is a card in there right up here that will show you how giving is different than tithing. Today we are going to expand on that a little bit more so that you have a little bit better of an understanding on tithing and giving.
Today we are talking about being a cheerful giver and so let’s dive in. Let’s open up with a verse. If you have your Bibles, 2 Corinthians 9:7. Now if you wanna come back later, all of these verses will be referenced in the description below on the YouTube channel and the podcast as well. So check those out at your leisure.
‘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.’ Okay, so we know God loves a cheerful giver. He wants you to decide ahead of time what you are going to give, not the moment someone says, hey you, we need money, we are raising money.
For example Social Media Ministries, we are raising money, we need $8,000 to pay all of our legal expenses, cost of entity set up, and equipment. That is what we need money for. Now God wants you to decide ahead of time what you are going to give. If we do a message or a video that is calling out for a fundraiser and we have a dollar amount and it is in the minute impromptu, sure you can throw it in. Put $10 in the offering plate or punch up a credit card for $20 or something like that.
But what this verse is saying is that God wants you to have a plan for your money. For example, you need to have everything in line, you need to know how much you are going to give, maybe for that month, that year, that day, that week, whatever, that you have decided ahead of time. You may not know where you are giving it, so that is the key here. There is a differential in the spur-of-the-moment and the decision.
So if we have a fundraiser video for example or we are doing a fundraiser and we are calling out for money or you get a phone call from some campaign agency and you want to support someone who is pro-life, they are for keeping the babies. In the Bible all over the place, pharaoh was aborting babies, we had all kinds of things like that. We know biblically abortion is not correct. We are getting on a tangent here, but biblically it wasn’t correct.
So someone calls you up and they want to do that and you want to support them. Okay. For example, you don’t know how much you want to give, so you just give $25. Now that $25 was a spur-of-the-moment decision. You didn’t decide in your heart ahead of time because you didn’t know they were going to call on that day. However that $25 that you gave spontaneously is a part of maybe this month you have decided to give $2,000 or this year you have decided to give $10,000 and so then that $25 would come out of that amount.
Now that is beyond the tithe. We will come there in a little bit, as we have talked about in the previous message, tithing is different than giving and so you need to decide in your heart what you are going to give and then when these people request money if you find one that maybe the spirit speaks to you and says I need to support them or you really like what they are doing or you just feel like supporting them in some way, then you can give there and now when you decide that number may be on the 1st of January you decide what you want your giving to be for the whole year, you and your family, or for that month and you do it every month as a part of your budget. However, you do it.
When you decide that number, don’t be afraid to go beyond that number if God blesses you and you have more than you initially planned and you want to give more. Give more, okay, that is what God is blessing you for. We are blessed, to be a blessing to other people.
God wants you to decide in your heart what you are going to give. Then He wants you to give it freely and willingly. Not like, okay I have got this money set aside to give somewhere and then someone asks and you are like, no I don’t know, I need to make real sure. He wants you to give it freely and willingly.
You have already committed that money in your heart to being given away, now it is time to do it and give it, don’t hold back, give it freely and willingly. You are not to feel obligated like that. You committed that money and then all of a sudden, oh I have to do it because I committed it in my heart. No, it is freely and willingly. It is like this is your privilege that God gave you this money and you are now giving it to other people to help them. You have the means to give.
Giving is different than tithing. Here is the differentiation, big word. Tithing comes off the top of your income. We are going to go to Proverbs 3:9 for a little support there. Tithing comes off the top of your income. Proverbs 3:9 says, ‘Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.’
Okay, you probably don’t grow crops today. They did in the Old Testament. People were workers of the field, they were laborers. Sure they got paid wages like we get paid today, but today our society is way way more dependent upon money. We have a monetary system throughout the world and it can be exchanged into different currencies, but it is a universalized worldwide standard money.
So you are not gonna go to the grocery store with your pottery that you have thrown on your wheel and try to trade that for some olive oil or trade. You know three of your pots and get two of them filled with oil or you are not going to be pressing your own olives and making it in oil and then trading that in the market like they would have back then.
Now you have money and money is the universal means of exchange and so the tithe would come off the top. The first fruits of your wealth it says, ‘Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.’
Well, wealth would be whatever you have, crops could mean you are sowing. If you are sowing into your business, you are reaping money. That is your crop. That is the fruit of your labor. You are working and making money. Your labor is producing money for whatever country you are in. That is your crop. You are to give God the first fruits of that. How much? We will come to that later, but tithe literally means tenth, so there you go, it is a tenth.
Giving is different, but we have one more verse that I want to support with. This is Deuteronomy 14:22. Deuteronomy 14:22 says, ‘Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.’ There it is, tithe means tenth. Deuteronomy 14:22, ‘Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.’
Now you are not a farmer, you live in an apartment in New York City, you don’t have fields. What are you producing every year? Money. You are reaping, you are sowing and reaping, and that is what you get. The fruits of your labor. Your crop is money. Set aside a tenth of everything that you produce, you make, each year.
Now what are you going to do with that tenth? Well, we will come to that later but we talked about it again in the other video, the other sermon message however you want to call it. You are to give that to God. That is different from giving. Tithing off the top and it is a tenth, giving is something you decide in your heart what you are going to do. So remember that giving is; you decide in your heart, tithing has already been decided for you. It is a tenth. You can write those down if you want.
Next thing we have, giving comes off the bottom of your income. Tithing off the top, giving off the bottom. For example, you are doing your budget, let’s say you have a regular income, you get paid $1500 a week, that would be $6,000 a month. So you say every month we are tithing $600 and again that comes off the top, the first fruit.
For example, you get paid every two weeks, so every two weeks you could write a check to your church or have it automatically withdrawn or however you do it, pay with a credit card, whatever you decide to do with your tithe, your tenth of your income. So you get paid every two weeks that would be roughly $3,000 every two weeks, so $300, boom automatic off the top.
Now you say, well wait a minute, I have taxes that come out of that, I have health insurance that comes out of that, I have some money going into my investments that comes out of that. Do I tithe once I get my paycheck? No, remember it is off the top. So tithe before all that. Now if you have all that coming out automatically and you need to look at your numbers, look at what you made at the top, then everything comes out and this is your take-home.
Tithe from the top. Okay, even if all that stuff is automatic you can’t control that, I mean if you could you could add them, put the tithe in before all that. But a lot of employers aren’t gonna do that for you. So tithe from the number off the top, then you have all that you get, your take-home pay. Now you have to pay your bills, you have all your payments, your car mortgage, all this stuff, kids, everything.
Okay, then you have some money left over. Whatever is leftover is savings. Giving, spending, whatever you would like to do with it and that is why you must decide in your heart what you are going to give. It is not something like, okay let’s see how much money we have left over and now let’s decide what we are going to do with that money.
You need to earnestly seek out God and pray and know, okay this month I would like to give $500. So then you get paid two weeks from now. Maybe you got paid on the 1st and the 15th, however, it works for you. So you decide one month, if right now it is March and you want to give in April or if it is February and you want to give in the next month March, whatever it might be, you decide that ahead of time in your heart.
Then that month comes and you see what you have left over. Maybe you decided you wanted to give $200 and you only have $100 left over. Well, then what can we do? How can we make that other money because I decided I wanted to give that? You are not just going to try to carry it over. This is a test of obedience. It is what are you going to try to sell or what are you going to try to do to get that money to give it to where you decided in your heart?
Sometimes eventually you start being obedient and faithful you might say I wanted to give $200 and I have $1,000 left over, you never know. God will bless you for being obedient, that is for certain. This is why God wants you to decide in your heart what you are going to give. If you have money left over and you decide to put it towards savings, then you are not giving it away.
If you decide to split it, 50% of my money left over goes to savings, 50% is given away so you don’t know a dollar amount, God doesn’t speak to everyone in numbers. You may decide, you know what I am on commission, I have no idea what my regular income is, I could be making $50 this month and $10,000 next month and it all averages out. Well then maybe you are the type of person who says, okay I tithe and I pay all my bills, then whatever is left over, 75% to savings and 25% gets given away or 90% to savings and 10% given away or 90% given away and 10% to savings. You get the idea
That can be decided in your heart ahead of time and then every time that comes along when you have money left over that is what you do. If one month you don’t have money left over, nothing you can do about that, okay the main thing is you gotta stick to it.
If you get to a point where you have $10,000 left over because you had an amazing month and you say, wow $10,000 left over and I was going to give 50% away, I don’t wanna give $5,000 away, that is too much. That is a problem. You decided in your heart, you gotta stick to it. It is very very critical. God is telling you to have a plan for your money. He has a plan for your life, God is a planner. He wants you to have a plan as well. If you want to be like God you need to have a plan.
How do you decide this? I have mentioned you could decide on dollar amounts. Maybe at the beginning of the year, you set a goal for the end of the year and you do one of those thermometer graphs and color them in, that could be fun for your kids, it could be fun as a family. Maybe you decide it is a percentage then you could still color in and see how much you have given away during the course of a month, a year, six months, etc. There is a method to decide. God is not going to leave you out hanging.
How do you decide? 2Corinthians 8:3-4. Here is how you are to decide what you are to give. Chapter 8 verses 3 and 4, ‘For I testified that they gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability entirely on their own. They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.’
Now who and what is this about? Well, this is a letter to the Corinthians from the apostle Paul. He is testifying that these people that he is talking about from wherever he was saying, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. He is telling the Corinthians about Macedonia and he is saying these people gave as much as they were able and they gave even beyond their ability entirely on their own, they weren’t forced. It is not like the apostles now said, hey you must give us money, we need money for our journey. No, they weren’t forced, they gave it entirely on their own.
Remember you are to give freely and willingly. So they urgently pleaded with them for the privilege to share in this service, to give more. That was their ministry, giving was their ministry. They weren’t out spreading the Gospel, they weren’t preaching messages every Sunday, they weren’t doing that. Their way to increase and share the word of God was to give. That was their ministry, their service to the saints.
Who were the saints? The saints were the people doing that, so the apostle Paul, all those other people who are out spreading the Gospel. Today we call them missionaries. Saints, because it is like a saintly figure. They were pleading with them to give them more.
How do you know what to give? You give according to your means and then when all of a sudden you are not giving to get blessings back, you are giving because it makes you feel good and it is the right thing to do and we want to grow the Kingdom of God as much as possible. That is why you are giving and as a result of this giving you will be blessed. You are gonna be blessed by God.
God loves to bless His children and if you are being obedient you are going to receive a blessing. That is it. May not be financial, it may not be, it could be any type of blessing but you will be blessed. You are not giving with the intention to receive that blessing, but that is what this means here when it says even beyond their ability. So they gave what they were able and they were blessed and they gave even more.
So you must decide according to your means. Now where do you give? Because when we tithe that tenth goes to God’s storehouse. Okay tithing has a location, it is to God’s house and that comes from Malachi 3:10. We have read this verse a few times before, Malachi 3:10 is about robbing God.
In case you need a refresher of that section, 3:10 says, ‘Bring the whole tithe, whole tenth, into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’
Right there, test him in this and see if He will not pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough to store it. Tithe to God’s house. What is God’s house? God doesn’t have a physical house here on earth. He has places where His spirit dwells and where you can go and receive encouragement, fellowship, hope, prayer, all of that.
So wherever that is in your heart for you, it should be a church or for example we aren’t in a physical location, you are not coming here to listen or to see me, you are seeing me from your own home, your car, wherever. Maybe you are gathering with others and watching this and then talking about it, reading the scripture and it is a study.
Would you give that money, then you would not give that to the homeowner who is playing this for you or to your own self for watching it on YouTube at home? You would be sending it to wherever that is coming from.
For example, if we are your church, then you would be giving the tithe here. If you are watching this, in addition to going to a church at home, you would be giving your tithe here to Social Media Ministries. Your tithe is going to your church, the place where you go to have fellowship, prayer, listen to messages, interact with others, and if during times of sickness, you are not going and meeting with others but you are still watching them at home and that, you still call that your church. That is where your tithe goes.
Then giving is, remember, beyond the tithe. Tithe is off the top, give off the bottom or you could give in the middle, it is really up to you. But giving is something you decide in your heart what you are to do. You can give anywhere, charities, non-profits, friends, family members, someone needs some money, the homeless guy on the side of the road, you hand them $20. You can give anywhere. That is what you can do. You can give anywhere. Tithing comes off the top.
So remember giving is a service, it is your service, it is your ministry. My ministry is preaching to you. Your ministry maybe you are in something, but for the average person who is not traveling across the world, who is not walking all around their neighborhood preaching the Gospel, who is not doing what these disciples did or living the life exactly like Jesus or like Paul or Peter or any of these people, their ministry, their service is giving.
Let’s go to 2 Corinthians 9;13, it says, ‘Because of this service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.’ Giving is your service, it is your ministry, you can help change lives. You can change the world. You can change a lot through your generosity.
Live generously, tithe off the 10th off the top. Pay your bills, decide in your heart what you are to give with your family, with your spouse, decide that, stick to it, and give where you can, where you feel called, where the spirit is leading you, and give freely, generously and willingly as part of your service to God in your ministry of professing your faith.
When people ask you why you are giving away so much money be prepared to tell them. Because that is a great opportunity to say, I give away my money because I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ. He died for me. He is my Lord and Savior and He wants me to give just as He gave. God gave His son. Jesus gave His life. What are you giving?
Let’s pray. Father Yahweh, thank you so much for this time together. Thank you for this message. I ask that it really was clear and provided some great understanding for each and every person out there. That they would know exactly what the difference is and what they need to do going forward. Lord push your spirit forth on them, speak to each and every person, and tell them exactly what they are to give.
Show them that tithing is very very important and then and where that needs to go and help them understand that giving is also a part of their service and their ministry and that they help them have that, whether it is a number or a percentage or what they decide. Lord, please allow them to figure that out. Speak to them on where to give it as well so that they know exactly who or what needs to benefit from that giving. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Once again thank you so much for your time with us today. I hope that you really got a lot out of this. If you have any questions or comments please put them below. In addition please share this with other people. That is what you can do to really help us. Again Social Media Ministries cannot happen without social media and that cannot happen without you. Share it if you can if you desire, if you feel called, or if the spirit is speaking to you in that way. God bless.