When the heart is right the feet are swift.”
That’s the way Thomas Jefferson put it many years ago. There are other ways to say the same thing. A happy spirit takes the grind out of giving. A positive attitude makes sacrifice a pleasure. When the morale is high, the motivation is strong. When there is joy down inside, no challenge seems too great. The grease of gusto frees the gears of generosity.
And have you noticed how contagious such a spirit becomes? Not only do we feel the wind at our backs, others do as well. And when we are surrounded by that dynamic, a fresh surge of determination sweeps over us. You cannot stop it!
A close friend gave me a small paperback titled Great War Speeches, a compilation of the most stirring speeches by Sir Winston Churchill. I had already read most of them, but in rereading over the past several days, I found myself once again stimulated . . . prodded to do better, to reach higher, to give greater measures of myself. Churchill’s words regarding our age never fail to move me. What an eloquent spokesman for good! Describing courageous warriors, he wrote:
Every morn brought forth a noble change
And every change brought forth a noble knight.¹
Reminds me of David’s words after Araunah offered the king one of his possessions for nothing. “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). David refused a handout.
I love the application the late great preacher John Henry Jowett drew from David’s words: “Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing.” Long enough have God’s people drifted along passively dreaming for things to change. It’s time to act. It’s time to make things change. And while we’re at it, I suggest we have the time of our lives. Let’s do so with gusto!
Can you recall the statement about giving that Paul made in the 2 Corinthians letter? This statement is perhaps the foundational reference in Scripture that links joy with giving. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly [the word means “reluctantly”] or under compulsion [“feeling forced because of what others may say or think”], for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). The term cheerful, remember, comes from a Greek word, hilaros, from which we get our word hilarious. And in the original statement, hilaros is placed first for emphasis. Literally, “for the hilarious giver God prizes.” Why? Because hilarious givers have swift feet. They give with gusto!
Want to bring back the gusto? Want to become a “noble knight” at the round table of generosity? Let me remind you of four simple suggestions. They work for me.
Coming to the end of our fiscal year at Insight for Living, we have an enormous financial challenge in front of us. But it is achievable if . . . our spirits stay happy . . . if our morale stays high. Let’s make this year our all-time best. Let’s give as we have never given before with outstanding offerings of a sacrificial nature, like noble knights of old.
If our hearts are right, our feet will be swift. And if our feet are swift, we’ll not only reach our budget goals, we’ll go beyond them! Ministry that costs nothing, remember, accomplishes nothing.
Copyright © 2011 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc.
The Christian life is like a car. One needs at least two important things to drive it: a key and fuel. When an individual comes to faith in Christ, he or she is given the key: salvation. But the car of the Christian life doesn’t get very far without fuel—the divine enablement of the Holy Spirit, what the Bible calls being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Learn how to fill your tank daily!All Sermons by Chuck Swindoll