June 2, 2020 – Willingly

Read 2 Corinthians 8

“For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” 2 Corinthians 8:12 
 
The first requirement to giving is willingness. Many times people give because they are afraid of what others are thinking. We have the responsibility to give, but God only asks from you what you are willing to give. If you are not willing, then you had better pray for a willing spirit. Willingness is genuinely lacking in the church today.
 

This is perhaps the most difficult part of the Bible, man’s free will. God is Lord over heaven and earth. Everything is subject to His will. There is evidence of only one celestial being who ever rebelled against that will – the angel Lucifer. Yet, God does not force His way upon man for salvation, for obedience, or for love. He gives man a choice. In fact, He has given man many choices each day.  For instance,

For Salvation: John 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

For Service: Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

For Obedience: Romans 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

For Giving: 2 Corinthians 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

God does not force us to obey, and He does not force us to give to our neighbor. He promises to bless us if we do, but He isn’t ruling over our pocketbook with a rod of iron. In fact God does not seem to want us to have to give out of necessity. He wants us to be willing to give. He has given to us and then out of that abundance, He asks us to use that gift for His glory to care for one another. 
 
There is a lack of willingness in this world. Human nature always wants to make sure our own needs are met first, before we will give to others. We are not sure if we will need the money tomorrow and we feel that a good steward is one who is able to provide for his family no matter the emergency that presents itself. 
 
The problem with most of that thinking is a lack of faith. If we can’t please God without faith, then having every need provided for our today and tomorrow cancels the need to use faith to see God provide. 
 
And the need of another is also immediate. We can’t look first to the needs we have for next week when the man living next to us has a need today. Our pocket is filled with our daily needs, and when we have our daily needs met, then we need to see who has a need that they can’t meet today.
 
Matthew 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread.
 

We assume therefore, that the verse which states, “Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content” (1 Timothy 6:8), is not talking about next month, but today. If we had to wait until next month to see if we have enough, we will not be able to be content today. We will not know tomorrow until tomorrow comes,  but we can know that our needs are met today.

 

An Exercise to Increase our Faith: Answer these questions: What does willingness mean? How do I know if I am willing to give to someone else? How do I know if my own needs are met? When does God ask me to give to someone else?

 


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