“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
About a decade ago, on my birthday, I got a very nice surprise. Susan and the boys had planned a little party for me. After we ate supper, there were candles to blow out, cake to eat and presents to open.
What I remember most about the party were the plates, cups, and napkins. The boys still had them in the sack from Wal-Mart, and they couldn’t wait to take them out so that I could see them. Seth (who was about 5 years old at the time) said, “They’re great, Dad. Spencer and I looked all over the store to find the kind you would like. Look—they’re Batman and Robin!”
Now, I will tell you, it had been a long time since I had thought about Batman and Robin. But, in 1966, when I was 5 years old, Batman and Robin was the hottest thing in the United States, and the greatest thing in the world to me. I understood why the boys had chosen these plates for me. It was the best thing they could imagine, and they wanted to give me the very best thing they could.
The wonderful Christian writer, C. S. Lewis, once wrote a story about a man who was “sixpence none the richer”. (The music group “Sixpence None the Richer” took their name from this book.) In the story, there is a little boy who asks his father for a sixpence coin. The boy takes the sixpence and buys a present for his father. The father is delighted with the gift and so pleased with his son, even though the man is truly “sixpence none richer”. The boy has only given his father what belonged to him to begin with. But the father is delighted because of the love that went into the gift his son chose.
What I’m describing here is the relationship we all have with God the Father. Anything that we have, well, He has given it to us. Anything that we give to Him was His to start with. But the Lord loves it when we give Him gifts. He is pleased by the love that is in our hearts and the effort we put forth to honor Him.
I still get a warm feeling in my heart when I think about the Batman and Robin plates, cups, and napkins. Even though I had provided the money to buy them, I was blessed to have the affection of two loving sons. And when I think about the joy I feel, it makes me want to do something for my Heavenly Father. For, we too, have a Father who is well-pleased with the gifts of His children—provided they are given out of love.
Dear mama, what will you give to the Lord this week? Begin with giving Him your heart, and your life will follow.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” (Sing that title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man.”) He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the church members still put in their “birthday money” before the congregation when the happy date comes each year). You should write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.