We love God because He first loved us. Our giving is in response to His amazing gift to us, Jesus. In fact, we are told, “The Lord does not need our offerings. We cannot enrich Him by our gifts. Says the psalmist: ‘All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.’ Yet God permits us to show our appreciation of His mercies by self-sacrificing efforts to extend the same to others. This is the only way in which it is possible for us to manifest our gratitude and love to God. He has provided no other.” — Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 18.
When we surrender “our” money to Jesus, it actually strengthens our love for Him and for others. Therefore, money can be a real power for good. Jesus spent more time talking about money and wealth than just about any other subject. One verse in every six in Matthew, Mark, and Luke is about money. The gospel’s good news is that God can deliver us from the misuse and love of money.
Read Matthew 6:31-34 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14. What does God promise to do for us if we obey Him? Is it selfishness on our part to claim the promises of God?
Our offerings are an evidence of our willingness to self-sacrifice for God. They can be a deeply spiritual experience, an expression of the fact that our lives are wholly surrendered to God as our Lord. To us, as an English idiom says, it is “putting our money where our mouth is.” You can say you love God, but generous offerings help reveal (and even strengthen) that love.
An offering comes from a heart that trusts in a personal God who constantly provides for our needs as He sees best. Our offerings rest on the conviction that we have found assurance of salvation in Christ. They are not an appeasement or a search for God’s acceptance. Rather, our offerings flow from a heart that has accepted Christ by faith as the only and sufficient means of grace and redemption.
|Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. What is the Lord saying to us here? What does it mean to give as one “purposes in his heart” (NKJV)? How do we learn to give cheerfully?|