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Give First, Shop Second

If you are committed to giving to the local church, you may be feeling the sacrifice, especially as your Christmas shopping list grows. Yet God promises to bless those who give faithfully. In 2 Corinthians 9, the apostle Paul provides two instructions about giving: decide beforehand and do it cheerfully.

When we decide how much to give before bills come due and other desires compete for our money, we are able to give freely and with anticipation for what’s to come. God is able to bless us abundantly, and He promises to give us everything we’ll need for whatever He has in store for us next (2 Corinthians 9:8).

God also blesses our gift, which means our offerings have a greater impact than we could ever imagine. 2 Corinthians 9:9 says, "They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever." Giving changes our hearts and others’ hearts so everyone can praise God for what He has done.

Follow the instructions God gives through Paul: decide beforehand what you will give, and do it happily. God is the ultimate giver, and He will meet your needs!

Reflect:

  • What’s the difference between giving by compulsion and giving cheerfully?
  • Are you struggling to believe God will meet your needs when you trust Him with your finances? Why?
  • What have you decided in your heart you will give to God? How can you do that this week?

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