Date: Friday, June 7
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Verse: 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)
The pencil holder on my office desk is an old can covered in construction paper. The color of the paper has faded, and there are several places where it has been repaired with Scotch Tape. On some level, it may be time to replace it, but that won’t be happening. The tape is holding down one of the letters in the word “Dad.” This pencil holder was a Father’s Day gift from my children when they were much, much younger. Its monetary value is probably the couple of cents the can might be worth to a recycler, but its value to me is much greater. Gifts are not always measured by their dollar value. The more important criteria is the heart of the giver.
In chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is writing about an offering he is collecting for the poor of Jerusalem. He is inviting the church in Corinth to participate in this giving that will do so much good for people in need. He encourages them to give generously, even telling the the story of how the church in Macedonia may have given more than they could afford (8:3) out of the joy they have found in Jesus. Then he reminds them, though, not to give out of obligation or just to save face in light of the Macedonians. He wants them to give cheerfully.
Sometimes I am discouraged with my ability to give. I don’t have the funds to make large donations. I admire those who can give the money to build wings onto hospitals, or endowments for scholarships at their alma mater. That will never be my role, but that doesn’t mean my gifts are less important. Like that pencil holder on my desk, a gifts value is not simply contained in its purchase price. The heart of the giver tells its true worth.
Prayer: Oh God, make me a cheerful giver. Amen.
Action: Be generous today.
Respond: What gift of little monetary value, like my pencil holder, has a special place in your heart? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.