God does not accept grudging service from anyone. “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23, NKJV). ‘Heartily’ means with all your heart, all your strength, all that is within you.

Paul writes, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity [unwillingly]; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). The apostle makes a dual application of this matter of giving; it has to do with our financial offerings and the giving of our very lives to God’s work.

Paul wrote that the church in Macedonia literally begged him to let them take up a collection for the poor, suffering saints in Jerusalem. These Macedonians were so wholly given to the Lord, they gave out of their poverty.

If you give only because you believe it is commanded or if you’re always wondering, “Is tithing a New Testament concept or just Old Testament?”, your heart-attitude is all wrong. If you give 10 percent because the pastor asks it of you, that is wrong also. None of this gets to the issue to the heart of what it means to give!

I am sorely convicted by this verse because so often I go about my life and ministry without the joy of the Lord. Has serving the Lord become a bore, a drag to you? Is it just a burden, leaving you mostly sad and weary? God doesn’t want you complaining about your burden; he wants you to chase those things out of your life by laying hold of his Word, which is your checkbook to his resources in faith! He is saying, “I have already made provision for you. What need in your life is so great that I cannot supply more than is required?”

The word for cheerful in Greek means merry, glad, having a light heart, willingness, gladness, being full of hilarity. God is saying, “Whatever you do in your labors for me, whether it’s interceding, worshipping me in my house, or seeking me in your secret closet, do it cheerfully! Be joyful and generous with everything: your money, your service, your time and your life.” In order to give oneself to pleasing God, it must spring from a cheerful spirit that is available to us all by simple, childlike faith.