The word for this week is 'OFFERING'.
During this season when giving is more emphasized, it might be good to examine the motivation for our giving. The word 'offering' as used in the verb form means 'to bring to'. In the noun form the word means ' a bringing in'. Notice there is personal involvement in this opportunity of worship.
An offering is not something I send by way of OR through others. It is not something that I delegate. It is something that I demonstrate. This is something I personally engage in as a follower of Christ. Whether time, treasure, talent or truth, those who are redeemed are instructed 'to bring to' OR 'bring in' the offering for the purpose of ministering to others.
There are some in the church who sort of 'seize' up at the thought of giving what they have worked hard for to someone or something without anything in return. Whether a gift of prayer for someone or a gift from the purse, there are varied opinions on how much 'to bring to' OR 'bring in'. Offerings are to be looked upon as something I 'bring to' God in response for how much He has bought for me. Sadly, for some, it's how little can I get by with and not be ashamed or looked upon as selfish.
There are many different types of 'offerings' recorded in the word of God. The Israelites were instructed by God in Leviticus on 'bringing in' the offering. Whether a burnt offering, grain offering, peace offering, sin offering or guilt offering, God's chosen were to bring in an offering to the Lord. This was, nor should it be confused with the tithe.
The offering was something that was brought in beyond what was required. That is why the prophet Malachi listed the two separately in Malachi 3:8. The offense of Israel against God was "...in tithes and offerings." No one may properly 'bring in' the 'offering' until they have first brought the tithe into the storehouse of the local assembly, the church.
Jesus gave the greatest offering when He gave Himself for us in fulfilling the Father's plan of salvation. And in so doing, left us the perfect example.
It must be further noted that one may correctly 'bring in' an offering without first yielding themselves (offering themselves) fully and freely to the will of God in their life. O, you and I can still give and even get credit for what is given on some level, but the opportunity of worship, the highest level of reward is forfeited because of a lack of genuine love for God.
It's love for God that motivates this ongoing response of worship. Whether in service, substance or silver, why we 'bring in' the offering is as important, if not more so than what we 'bring to' God. When what I offer has no strings attached, then God responds accordingly and abundantly.
As disciples of Christ, we bless God as we bless others with our offerings.
Giving offerings is not a seasonal practice. It is a systematic practice that is the outflow of the inflow of God's abundant provision in our life!
As His disciple and a member of His body, the church, what offerings have you 'brought in' lately in your response of worship?
What offerings will you 'bring in' over the next few weeks, months or years?
In response to faith and obedience, prepare to be blessed!
1 Corinthians 15:58