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.
After Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, one church needed a great deal of cleaning up. Ash was in the parking lot and all over the inside because of open windows. A woman met the pastor in the hallway on Friday and asked "Why don't we get the High School and College kids to come in and help poor Fred clean this place up? Let's get them involved." "Great idea," he said, "Would you be willing to get some women together to cook lunch for us?" "Well actually, we had plans tomorrow and I don't know when we'll be back..."
Hmmm. We always want to volunteer someone else for a job needing done, don't we? My wife tells a story about a different pastor who once said "What? You don't feel led to help clean the church? I'll tell you what, here's a pencil -- come up here and feel lead!"
It's so easy to get into the mindset that serving God is a chore, it's our job, our duty -- we give "valuable consideration" to our giving, as Webster describes it. The fact of the matter is that God loves a cheerful giver. He loves a volunteer. When I think of that verse, the first thing that comes to my mind is monetary giving, but God wants us to cheerfully volunteer every good thing He has so mercifully allowed us to have -- things we often take for granted -- our time, our energy, our abilities, our talents, our homes, our cars, our families -- all that we have - all that He has cheerfully given to us!
Let's make a point to volunteer some of these things to the Lord this week. Let's begin to bless the Lord and those around us!