Giving to GodBro. David Chancellor
8/18/2002 6:00 PM
If you would have the unsearchable riches of Christ, you must
invest yourself. God has given much to us; do we give back? Giving has to do
with our attitudes as much as with our money. Paul told the people, Were not
after yours, were after you.
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Honor the Lord Our interest is that you have a real reverence and awe for God. What most get out of these verses is You cant outgive God. What you have, God gave to you. At best, as far as God is concerned, it will be hard to give, as youll be given back whats already his. Sometimes people think first-fruits and increase and think 10%. It says substance, which is pretty much everything you have. God has invested in you. If you bless and honor God, hell bless and honor you. The more you give, the more God will give you to use. Hes given it to you to use for his purpose. Were a nation impoverished by our own greed. There is enough to meet the needs of our country. Yet, there are people that suffer want. Our nation isnt using what God has given us for his purpose. He isnt first in the lives of most of those about us. We squander our money and give it to our entertainers. If we honor God, we will have more, not of goods, necessarily, but of happiness and what makes life great. Honor God and youll be happy. Honoring God deals with our attitude toward serving God.
These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God. But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee. Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you. But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD: And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you. Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest: But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee. Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart. Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water. Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto. Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.
This helps us to understand the verse in Proverbs about honoring God. They werent allowed to go just any place to honor God. They werent to do these hallowed things except in the place where the Lord choose to put his name. The chosen place was Jerusalem. If they didnt do it the way God wanted it done, he wasnt honored. Our attitude towards God and what he expects by us is important. These things were consumed by the ones that gave it. Yet, they were honoring God by going to the place and doing this as he directed them to do. God had promised that they wouldnt have to worry about their farms/possessions being taken or being ambushed by their enemies as long as they were worshipping God. God is only honored when we worship him in the way he wants us to worship him. If they took the first-fruits and ate them at home, God wasnt honored. He told them to take it where his name was. To honor God, you need to do things Gods way. Bring yourself into his presence according to his will. Every child of God ought to be a Bible student. Study it and endeavor to know what it says. Find out his will and what is necessary to please him. There was to be a place. Jereboam created two places with idols because he didnt want the people to worship the way God said to. God can help us to know what he wants.
And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein; That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there. And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us. And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God. And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression: And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God: And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.
As they brought of the fruit of the land in a basket, it was to foster gratitude and remembrance of all God had given. I have received what God has given. Every child of God should have a testimony. Every child of God should feel like they should give a testimony of what they have received from God. It causes us some examination to give the testimony, I have received what was provided by Jesus Christ. Every child of God should be able to say, I have received the gift of God. Even if you were prosperous so far as this worlds goods goes, you were still afflicted in a life of sin. What we give God should be given in remembrance of what he has done for us. There should be a testimony to the greatness of God. Even if you give your money, if the attitude of your heart isnt right, youve missed out. What kind of heart would it be if you say, Thank you God, but dont require this of me? Do we feel the significance of what God has done to save our souls? Every soul should have this offering, I was at the bottom, but God brought me out. There wasnt any complaining in it. There was rejoicing for the good things God gave. They should have felt how little they were doing by comparison. We shouldnt have to be compelled to give our lives back to God. If we have this attitude, I was on the bottom and you saved me and turned my life around, but dont ask anything of me, God help us! The rich have enough to be able to give. The poor never have enough. This doesnt have anything to do with the amount of money you have. Giving is caring about others. Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing the Lord has given unto thee How often do you count and feel blessed? Too many people count their trials and bemoan their lack. If the devil can get you to do this, youll sound like the Israelites in the wilderness. Moses answer was Get your basket and put your first-fruits in it and go to God and begin to thank him for bringing you out. Weve had some good things temporally and good things spiritually. We can worship freely and our lives of sin are gone. Remembering will help you to rejoice and to desire to do something for God. All of our giving back to God is not monetary. The biggest hindrance to Gods work is that were not out trying to help as much as we ought. Look for what you can do to help others, to let them know that you care. Show love to others. Give without trying to see whats in it for you. When we really feel what God has done and desire to give in return, well find a way to give back. It doesnt hurt to go back and recount. Recognize where you were and how far God has brought you. Desire to accomplish something for God.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
Peter wasnt putting any in his pocket, but these trust them enough to give it to them to take care of. Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own We need to recognize that it isnt ours, but Gods. See how children act to each other when they say, Mine. Can we say, Not mine, but thine? God gave us what we have to accomplish a purpose. This is as big a battle for the poor man as for the rich man. We need to move from mine to thine. We should ask Gods permission to use the possessions hes given us. Giving begins at home. Our first mission is to reach our families. Yet, God would have us to broaden it out from that. God will allow us to use our resources for our necessities. What is our point of view, mine or thine? What we have should be used to honor and reverence God. Lord, you gave it to me, help me to use it for you. If we view it this way, our lives will make a difference. The prosperity of Gods church hinges on when we start saying thine rather than mine. Something is missing when people begin to pull off to themselves.
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
God that made the world and all things therein Its already his, but he put it in our hands. Everything we have is given to us by God. Hes given us life and breath and strength. Get past mine and say thine. Hes put us in the place where we are at. Hes made a way and seen what we needed. God gave it to us. Yes, we put effort in, but God gave it to us. He gives to all, whether they honor him or not. Our attitude towards God and what he has done for us is important. In him we live and move and have our being Were dependent on God for everything. Every time we give, it ought to stir something in us, a thanks for all that God has done. What a praise we ought to have for God! If we really feel this, we wont let his work go begging. Its more blessed to give than to receive. God wants us to give because we love him. Everything we have should be given to God. Giving is more than money. What is your attitude toward God and the things of this life? Do we only think of and live for ourselves? To honor God with all hes given us, live a life that gives back.