Yesterday, we looked at the first two characteristics of heart giving: First, it is what matters to God, and second, it is sacrificial.
Third, heart giving accomplishes much. Think of all the people throughout history who have been liberated to give because of the account of the widow's offering in Luke 21. Over time, Jesus has used those two small coins to save, feed, heal, and encourage many souls.
God does not need or want our money; He already owns everything.
Fourth, heart giving has its own reward. God will not neglect to eternally reward those who give from their heart. First Corinthians 3:11-14 says that on the last day, all of what we've done for Christ will be lit with a match. If what we've done on earth has been sacrificial, it will be like gold and burn brighter in the fire. If no sacrifices have been made, it'll be like hay set alight, leaving nothing but ashes.
Fifth, heart giving is a great equalizer. There is no virtue in being poor and no virtue in being rich. Ultimately, God will hold us all accountable for where we have invested our time, our resources, and ourselves. Is my giving of myself done willingly, joyfully, and sacrificially, or begrudgingly and regretfully?
In Christ, we see the perfect picture of generous living. At risk of his reputation, He spent His days ministering to sinners and tax collectors rather than making friends in high places (see Matthew 9:10-12). When the sick came to Him, He healed them (see Matthew 9:35, 14:13-14). As He was mocked, tortured, and betrayed, He forgave (see Luke 23:34). And while we were still sinners, completely undeserving of his grace and love, He died for us (see Romans 5:8).
Jesus' life demonstrated the heart of generous living. He sacrificed His life so that we could have life to the full—and now He sits at the right hand of the Father, receiving eternal worship for what He did on the cross.
God does not need or want our money; He already owns everything. What He wants is us—our wholehearted devotion and trust in Him. He wants us to love Him and to love others with the same kind of love that Jesus demonstrated during His earthly life. That is the kind of worship He desires—generous living in response to His generous love.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that my life would be a picture of generous living in response to Your generous love. Let my attitude be like that of Christ's. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4).