January 31, 2021

Cheerful Giving

Then the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with single mind they had offered freely to the Lord; King David also rejoiced greatly.
1 Chronicles 29:9
In a 17th-century classic called The Art of Divine Contentment, Thomas Watson tells us that "a contented spirit is a cheerful spirit. Contentment is something more than patience—patience denotes only submission, while contentment denotes cheerfulness. Contented Christians are more than passive: they not only bear the cross, but willingly take up the cross."

Nowhere is Watson's point more clearly made than in our attitude toward giving. This giving may be of our money, our talent, our time, or any other gift of God. The one who is content to be a disciple of Christ realizes that anything that we count as ours is from God, and God did not give it to us to be hoarded away, but shared with those who will benefit from it.

May my prayer today be that I may be a contented Christian and a cheerful giver.

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
 2 Corinthians 9:7
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Lord, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil, and not to seek for rest; to labor, and not to ask for reward—except to know that I am doing your will.
 Ignatius of Loyola
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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