Saturday, 16 October 2021

Title: The Cheerful Giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-8) (NKJV)
By: Chan Yew Thai

Paul told the Corinthians, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” This verse brings to mind that everything belongs to God for He is the Creator (Psalm 24:1). We are just custodians of His assets due to His love and generosity for us. Understanding this concept will help us viewing our possessions, especially money and time, in a different perspective, and not being possessive and selfish about it.

If we are just stewards, then we should not horde them only for ourselves, but instead to be generous and wise in our giving so that God’s name be glorified. This reminds me about the parable of the talent (Matthew 25:14-30), where the servants who invested wisely were given more. All of them who “grew” their talent had their shares doubled, but the one who buried his talent and did nothing with it had his talent forfeited and cast away.

I remembered what Pastor Tan Eng Lee in one of his sermons long ago said, “Some people are so tight fisted that even when God wants them to give, He has to prise open the fists.” He went on saying that we must keep our fists loose to give generously, so that God can also bless us in return. I believe this is a good reminder to not be stingy with our money, but to be generous in our giving that others may experience the love of God through our giving. An example of this generous giving is the Covid relief fund of Pantai Baptist Church where many members and regular worshippers contribute towards it. This has benefited many through the food aid and meal programs, including foreign workers who were unable to work and had no money to buy food. Though many of the recipients had different religions, they experienced God’s love and were grateful to the church.

God loves a cheerful giver, not one who gives grudgingly or follows what others gave. We should give based on our ability and what our hearts prompt us to give. To borrow my nephew’s words, “God has never shortchanged us, neither will we be able to match God in His giving.” My nephew is an ardent believer of a cheerful giver; and looking at his life, I am convinced by what he says of God. No matter how much we give, God gives us more, not necessarily in terms of money, but in good health as we save on medical fees and the ability to work to make money, protect us from accidents that cost money in the form of repairs or replacement and many other forms that has financial implications.

God’s economy is different from the worldly one as it is unlimited. He can bless us in many different forms. However, we should not give only with the thought of receiving but to give freely; as freely we received, freely we should give.

Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings. May you help us to be cheerful givers and wise stewards of your resources that many may experience your love and be drawn to you. Thank you, Jesus, for your love. We pray and asked all these in Jesus precious name. Amen!

2021 年 10 月 16 日
標題:快樂的捐獻者(哥林多後書 9:6-8)(NKJV)
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹

保羅對哥林多人說:“少種的少收,多種的多收。” 這節經文讓人想起 “地和其中所充滿的,世界和住在其間的,都屬耶和華。”(詩篇 24:1)因為衪是創造者。由於衪對我們的疼愛和慷慨大方,我們成了他資產的保管人。理解這個概念將幫助我們從不同的角度看待我們的財富,尤其是對於金錢和時間,不再是具佔有慾和自私自利。

如果我們只是位管家,那麼我們不應該只為我們自己而聚集它們,而應該在我們的奉獻上慷慨而明智,以便榮耀上帝的名。這讓我想起了才幹的比喻(馬太福音 25:14-30),聰明善用恩賜的僕人得到的更多。那些善加運用屬靈產業的人,他們的恩賜都增了一倍,但輕忽並荒廢恩賜而無所作為的人,原有的天賦則被剝奪淨盡和被拋棄。

我記得陳英理牧師很久以前在他的一次講道中說過的話:“即使上帝要他們捐獻,有些人的拳頭卻抓得很緊,而他的拳頭則必須被撬開。” 他接著說,我們必須鬆開拳頭,慷慨解囊,這樣上帝也會以祝福作為回報。我相信這是一個很好的提醒,不要吝嗇我們的金錢,而是要大方地施贈,以便其他人可以通過我們的贈予來體驗上帝的愛。這種慷慨捐獻的一個例子是班底浸信教會的冠狀病毒病救濟基金,許多成員和常參與聚會的崇拜者都做出了貢獻。這通過食品援助和膳食計劃使許多人受益,包括無法工作且沒有錢購買食物的外國勞工。許多受援助的人雖然信仰不同的宗教,但他們經歷了上帝的愛,並對教會心存感激。

上帝喜愛一個快樂的捐獻者,而不是一個不情願地給予或追隨別人來捐奉的人。我們應該根據自己的能力和內心的感受來促使我們贈予多少。借用我侄子的話,“上帝從來沒有虧待過我們,我們的付出也遠遠比不上上帝的恩賜。” 我的侄子是一位捐得乐意的熱心信徒;查看他的生活,我相信他對上帝的評語出自內心。無論我們付出多少,上帝都會加倍回報給我們更多,不一定是金錢,而是身體健康,為我們節省了醫療費用和有工作賺錢的能力,保護我們免遭意外事故,因此不需要花錢維修或更換零件以及許多其他牽連到財務的事項。