Offerings And Gifts

Out of all the gifts to you, you shall present every contribution due to the LORD; from each its best part is to be dedicated. Numbers 18:29

Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. Phillipians 4:7

So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you beforehand and make arrangements for the bountiful gift you had promised. This way, your gift will be prepared generously and not begrudgingly. 2 Corinthians 9:5

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5: 23,24

The first verse is about tithes, it was supposed to be a tenth and the very best, in this case produce and grapes are mentioned. We know that Cain killed Abel, because he was jealous, God accepted Abel’s sacrifice but not His. And while tithes is a different subject in relationship to money, Jesus is our High Priest now, and while some give a tenth, it is also the other way around and Jesus blesses and prospers us and then we want to give.

While offering and gifts are being given to God or those serving in ministry as the next two verses attest too, they should be the best and not given begrudgingly. For if we are ministered to, and blessed by spiritual teaching , especially those in full time ministry, they should have their needs met.

Though Paul is saying that he prefers fruit of the spiritual kind be credited to them, he was funded and provided for, even the ministry of Jesus was, women followed and contributed to Him, it was Judas with the financial hang up. While God accepts gifts and offerings, including ourselves as living ones. He wants the best, the best of us, we can’t give Him some little pitiful thing if we are so blessed and expect Him to accept it.

We can’t expect going to church once week to suffice, reading a verse or two, praying five minutes. We can do better. We expect the best from others don’t we? We should give Him our best and watch how He multiplies that fruit. And finally, we have two verses in Matthew.

Those deal with giving our offerings or gifts, and really  making peace with a fellow believer. As I can attest to, that is not always possible, but God expects us to try, and He understands the situations we face. But He wants us to try before offering a gift in church.

God is more interested in love and obedience, than offerings and gifts. We are not to have ought against our brothers and sisters and should not call them a fool. Even though we know some things are foolish, and might tell them so, it might even be better left unsaid to someone who refuse to understand the foolishness of the Galatians going from grace back to law, and the wisdom of not hindering the Spirit.

So remember, whatever you do for God or someone in ministry, even a friend or fellow believer, do it in love, and give them the best. The widow gave more than the rich because it was all she had. Even if you have nothing to offer but yourself, give Him your best, He gave His best for us.

Our visual today concerns Cain and Abel and the jealousy. We want to avoid competition. It is easy to see Cain’s anger, like the brother or sister in church. But we want to see our offering accepted by God. Just like Abel. What is it you are offering? Yourself? Money? Your time or talent? Even the spiritual fruit your bear or literally your children?

Father, I pray you find our offerings and gifts acceptable and pleasing to you in Jesus name. I feel like a lot of my fruit comes through writing and that as others are saved or blessed they will surely share with others, and so on, It is a ripple effect and an unlimited Lord, even though I may be, He isn’t.

Rebecca Jones Jon Ly / Unsplash, this was cropped.

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