“But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.” – 2 Corinthians 8:7
How do you give to the Lord? Do you just drop some money in the plate at church without thinking much about it? Do you write a check to God at the first of every month and pay Him just like you pay all your other bills? Do you give to God online but only if a ministry is successful at tugging your heart strings?
How you and I give is a matter of deep concern to the Lord. He is particular about how offerings are given. The Bible tells us that He won’t receive just any old thing simply because we feel like giving it.
In the book of Malachi, for example, God refused to receive Israel’s offerings. The sacrifices they were bringing to Him began to erode. They started bringing their defective animals, their blind calves and the injured ones they couldn’t do anything else with—and God said it offended Him. He told them in essence, “You don’t have any reverence or honor for Me, therefore, I’m not going to accept your offering.”
The concept of short-cutting our gifts to the Lord did not die out after the book of Malachi. Today, it has become amazingly similar. Many don’t have reverence for God with their tithes or offerings. Preachers, who are more concerned about church growth, shy away from teaching what God has said about giving. Some of God’s children wait for the pastor or preacher to beat them over the head until they feel so guilty they have to reach down into their pocketbooks.
This kind of giving is offensive to God. It grieves the Lord when the weakened church takes offerings in today’s culture and compromised condition. God has instructed us to worship Him with our offerings. Too many church leaders feel competitive with each other with their fund raising methods. Christian leaders are not to take from the people or manipulate their giving. We are to teach God’s children how and why to bring their gifts and worship the Lord in giving. This is how people will see the genuine fruits of their giving. God does honor and bless those who give correctly.
If you and I want God to be pleased with our offerings, we need to do what the Apostle Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians 8:7 listed above. We’ll want to learn how to “excel in this grace of giving.” (NIV) It’s time to stop thinking that God is casual about it … because He is not. Let’s learn to give to Him with faith and reverence and honor – and in worship.
So let me offer this challenge. Next time an offering plate is passed, or an online invitation to give is presented to you from a soucre that is feeding you spiritually, don’t just give carelessly. Get serious. Determine to obey God. Worship Him with your finances and be thankful. He has promised to do more than simply receive it, He will open the windows of Heaven and pour out blessings for you, your business and your family. Here is another promise from His word:
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
Dale & Paula
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