The Bible does not give us an order of service for worship. But it appears that at least four things are present in worship services. In the New Testament this list includes study/preaching, prayer, music, and tithes and offerings.
Three times each year the men (and families) of Israel were all to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem. And “they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed” (Deuteronomy 16:16, NKJV). In other words, part of the worship experience was the returning of tithe and giving offerings. It was at Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles that God’s children brought their tithes and offerings. It’s hard to imagine someone coming to those feasts empty-handed.
In other words, for ancient Israel the giving of their tithes and offerings was a central part of their worship experience. Worship, true worship, isn’t just expressing in words and songs and prayer our thankfulness and gratitude to God, but also expressing that thankfulness and gratitude to God by the bringing of our offerings to the house of the Lord. They brought it to the temple; we bring it to the church on Sabbath (at least as one way to return our tithe and offerings), an act of worship.
Read 1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 96:8-9; and Psalm 116:16-18. How do we apply the principles expressed here to our own worship experience?
As God’s children, who are tasked with the responsibility of managing His business on the earth, it is a privilege, an opportunity, and a responsibility to bring our offerings. If the Lord has given us children to raise for Him, we should share with them the joy of bringing tithes and offerings to Sabbath School and church services. In some places, people return their tithe online or by other means. However we do it, the returning of tithes and offerings is a part of our worship experience with God.
|What has been your own experience with the role of returning tithe and offerings as part of worship? How does the practice impact your relationship with God?|