‘As he purposeth in his heart’
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-24
Happy is the sight of a man who has a purpose in his heart! The man who purposes something in his heart plans for it; he makes whatever sacrifices are necessary to accomplish the purpose of his heart and he will not be turned aside from the purpose of his heart.
This was Paul’s rule for Christians in their giving: ‘Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; riot grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.’ Paul tells us that we are not to compel men to give that which they would prefer to keep for themselves. The legal precept of tithing requires a man to pay his tenth to the church, whether he really wants to or not. Such a doctrine is totally contrary to the free spirit of the gospel. God’s children give freely. We count it one of our highest privileges on this earth to give of our means to the work of the gospel. What a privilege it is for a redeemed sinner to provide food for a missionary’s table! Yet the believer should not be careless and haphazard in his giving. He should give according to the purpose of his heart. This means two things. First, we should give with a cheerful heart. And, second, we should plan to give. That is to say, we should plan our financial affairs so that we can give to the work of the gospel. If I have a dependable car, or a comfortable house, I ought not to trade that car for a newer model, or exchange that house for a more luxurious one, if in doing so my ability to give to the work of the gospel is hindered. It is infinitely more important for me to give of my means to the preaching of the gospel than it is for me to improve my social standing.
Are you ready to give? Am I? Let us give freely, cheerfully, abundantly and sacrificially. If we are constrained to do so, our constraint is not a legal one, but ours is a constraint of love. Knowing the love of Christ for us, we ‘prove the sincerity of our love’ to him by giving from a willing heart. Let us purpose in our hearts to give, for Christ’s sake.