Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)
"God doesn't want your money, he wants your heart. He wants you to decide when and how you'll give."
The Bible says there are a lot of reasons to give and be generous. But one thing God will never do is pressure you or guilt you into giving. As it says in our verse today, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion ...."
If you ever feel pressured to give by anybody - in church, at your house, someone on television, or anywhere else - don't do it. In fact, you can use me as an excuse and say, "Pastor Rick told me not to give because the Bible says never give under pressure or out of guilt."
God doesn't want your money, he wants your heart. He wants you to decide when and how you'll give.
So how do you decide? Well, you can give by reason or by revelation.
- Giving by reason just means that you give based on what you can afford. But I'll tell you, God doesn't bless that kind of giving.
- Giving by revelation, on the other hand, means taking a step of faith. It's asking, "God, I want to depend on you, not myself. What do you want me to give? What will stretch my faith and make me trust you more?"
It's giving outside your comfort level. This is the kind of giving that pleases God.