Aug. 27, 2018

Giving of Resources

Giving is a form of worship. Worship honors God. He is (or should be) the object of worship. There are many ways to give and many opportunities to give. 

Because giving has been misrepresented so frequently in the local church, some people have a cold attitude about sharing what they have. The broadcasted financial concerns of some large ministires have also tainted the view of some about sowing toward the work of the ministry.

Giving is a requirement of the Lord that is not to be ignored. We are responsible for knowing what He has said about giving and governing ourselves accordingly. These few verses in Leviticus 22 offer some insight about God's perspective regarding worship through giving.

Leviticus 22:17 AMP

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

The instructions concerning worship came from God. Since He is the author and object of worship, He determines the specifics. Humanity is not to modify God's directives without His permission.

Lev. 22:18

“Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them, ‘Any man of the house of Israel or any stranger in Israel who presents his offering, whether to fulfill any of their vows or as any of their freewill (voluntary) offerings which they presented to the Lord as a burnt offering— 

This verse indicates that these worship or offering instructions apply to everyone.  One reason for this is God wants everyone to have an understanding of the importance of giving. Worship through giving is not to be done haphazardly or without thought. Worship through giving is an indication of how we value Him and how we trust Him. The Israelites were to adhere to these commands. They were also to instruct strangers dwelling among them to do the same. Humanity, by nature, is inclined to be self-serving. Using what we have to satisfy ourselves is proof of that fact.

Lev. 22:19-20

So that you may be accepted—it must be a male without blemish from the cattle, the sheep, or the goats. 20 You shall not offer anything which has a blemish, because it will not be accepted for you.

Some have the idea that when they give, they are either doing God a favor or the pastor a favor. From the verse above and Genesis 4:7 below, we see that the act of giving blesses the giver. Some people feel their coffers are being depleted when they give to the work of the ministry. Worship in giving honors God but the major blessing is to the giver.

Genesis 4:7

If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.” 

These verses specifically indicate that the giver will not be accepted if the manner of giving is not according to God's stipulations. Why is that? Because the manner in which a person gives directly reflects their heart attitude. The heart is the seat of our affections. If we love God as we should (Matthew 22:37) we will be pleased to do as He says. Having an ill attitude toward giving back to the Lord what already belongs to Him (Psalm 24:1) is an offense to Him.

Suppose you had a child that you clothed, fed and cared for for 22 years. You took them to pre-school, helped with homework during their junior years and guided them wisely during their teen years. You paid for clothes, sports activities and entertainment. When they completed high school you provided them with a car and sent them off to college. After college they landed a nice job with a comfortable income. Then one day you are in a temporary bind. You call the child and ask for their assistance. The child reluctantly comes over, throws $5 on the table to 'help' you and asks if there is any thing good to eat in the refrigerator. How would you feel? Would you accept their 'help'?

We are not to treat the Lord as an afterthought or as a nuisance. Some act like God's requirements are too much of an inconvenience. At offering time during the worship experience some folks are visibly annoyed. They want that part of the service to be over quickly. They are uncomfortable. He has done everything for all of us. He gave us life. He provided for us. He made ways for us. He died so we can live. It is imperative that we follow His instructions with the proper heart attitude.

God isn't concerned so much with the amount we give. He wants us to do what is acceptable. And that is because he wants to bless us. There are benefits associated with being the kind of giver that pleases God. Be happy and joyful about giving. Plan to give. Include it in your budget. Don't just throw something at God as an afterthought. He does not want our leftovers. He deserves the best, the first, the top. Make Him your priority and He will make you a priority.

More to come next time! Thanks for reading.