To give, or not to give, why is it important? +

Scripture shows that the giving of tithes and offerings to the local church is necessary, and carries with it the promise of spiritual blessings. Often, we want blessings without the responsibilities, but God's word teaches us that our dutiful giving is accounted to us. It is a future reward that is kept securely for us in the heavenly kingdom.

The Bible is replete with instructions regarding tithes and offerings. It is an integral part of worshipping the Lord. Yet, because we misunderstand its significance, many Christian's simply don't tithe. Our tithes and offerings represent our love and devotion to Him. We give back to Him a mere portion of what He has benevolently given to us. It also shows our trust in Him. When we surrender a part of our income, we are relying on Him to meet our every need. When tithes and offerings are withheld, we foolishly rob Him of what He deserves. God's people had failed to give their tithes and offerings to the temple and were indicted with the sin of robbery (Malachi 3:8-9). God promises to bless us when we give to Him. Our obedience to Him returns blessings to us. Both blessing and obedience are interwoven as demonstrated, Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse (temple), so that there may be food in My house, and test 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 a blessing until it overflows" (Malachi 3:10). It seems unimaginable to test God, but He urges us to do so. He wants our obedience, He wants to bless us, and He staked His reputation on this principle.

What is the difference between talents and spiritual gifts? +

The attitude of giving.

The heart attitude of the worshipper mattered more to God than the offering itself. The Lord required the inward character of righteousness (Isaiah 1:16-17). One's sentiment toward God was reflected in the quality of the offering. Today, our attitude is displayed in the same way. The Apostle Paul gave instructions to the church in Corinth for taking up a collection for the Christians in Jerusalem. He urged them to be generous and supply the needs of the poor. The principle of obedience and blessing is reiterated here saying, "Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God" (2 Corinthians 9:10-11). We worship Him as we faithfully and generously meet the needs of the church and others. Similarly in our giving to Him, we show our love for Him because Jesus gave all of Himself for us.

Prayers of thanksgiving.

God is glorified through our offerings as needs are met by our financial gifts. The recipients gratefully offer prayers of thanksgiving to Him for both the gift and the giver. Through our obedience others are sustained, ministries are funded, and the gospel of Christ is preached. Those who receive the gifts "glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all," (2 Corinthians 9:13). Your gifts are proof of your faith in God's trustworthiness, your sincerity in obeying Him, and are the cause of joy and relief for the financially burdened. No wonder the Apostle Paul ended this section of his letter to the church of Corinth saying, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15). We can never reciprocate the lavish gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is indescribable! We can, however, seek to follow Him in obedience by giving graciously. May we develop a love for giving, and be filled with joy as others celebrate the goodness of the Lord through our contributions. May we prayerfully seek Him in the matter of our giving that we would establish a heart that is unrestricted in this type of worship. May He burden our hearts to provide for others through our tithes and offerings.

Worship the Lord through your giving today.

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