So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
At Grace Baptist we say that we are a “Gospel Centered Church.” Maybe you’ve wondered exactly what that means. Or maybe you think it means that we preach the Gospel to unsaved people so that they get saved. And of course it does not mean less than that, but it means much more.
It means that we want to interpret everything we do in the Christian life through the gospel. We believe that the Gospel is not the “ABC’s” of the Christian life, it is the “A to Z” of the Christian life.
This includes our giving.
Take a look at our Fighter Verse and then read 2 Corinthians 8:9 again (above). You will notice throughout these two chapters that Paul never uses the Law to compel them to give. He doesn’t quote the Mosaic code, or the tithing laws. He doesn’t even give them a new law using his apostolic authority.
He appeals to their hearts. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart.”
Could you imagine God saying that in Leviticus? Me either. But now we have a new heart- the heart of Christ. A desire to please God, to love Him and others. Paul trusts their hearts and appeals to their grace filled motivations.
If you struggle to give, maybe you are first struggling to receive God’s grace. If you are holding tight to your money and stuff and time, maybe you still struggle to have faith in the grace of God that He meets all your needs, and has met all your needs in Christ.
Paul uses the gospel to motivate the Corinthian believers to give. Re-read 2 Corinthians 8:9. He connects their everyday Christian lives and service through giving to the gospel of Jesus. Jesus is a generous giver. Jesus’ poverty brought others to riches. He did this for you. You can do this for others.
This is no guilt trip. It’s a grace trip.