Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Giving Can Be Worship

18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply
supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts
you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable
sacrifice, pleasing to God.

In the New Testament two verses speak of a fragrant offering to
God. The first (Ephesians 5:2) refers to the sacrifice of
Jesus. The second (Philippians 4:18) refers to giving offerings
to Paul while he was in jail. The wording used in these two
verses reminds us of the Old Testament offerings, especially
the burnt offerings.

Obviously, Father God was pleased with Jesus' sacrifice.
Because of the wording used in Philippians 4:18, we should
understand that God is also very pleased with our giving, which
shows our love for Him and the Gospel.

From the Old Testament we see that God was pleased with the
worship He received through burnt offerings. They were called a
"sweet savour" or a "pleasing aroma." But they had no human
purpose or benefit. They were not used to feed people. The
burnt offering was just burned. It was pure worship of God. Can
you imagine taking a perfectly good animal -- which would be
worth over $1,000 USD today -- and just burning it? Yet God
commanded this to be done in Old Testament times, so it is
evident He approved of it then and even seemingly enjoyed it.

When God asked Solomon to make a request of Him, and Solomon
responded by asking for wisdom, it was the same day Solomon had
already offered one thousand burnt offerings to the Lord (1
Kings 3:4-5). The value was over $1 million USD that had no
purpose except to worship God. No one ate the meat. No one got
any benefit out of all this killing and sacrifice except God.

Imagine you were God and were always giving, always blessing,
always doing good for others. Wouldn't it be nice to have
someone demonstrate by their actions how much they valued you?

Matthew 26:7-10 tells of a woman who poured an alabaster box of
expensive perfume on Jesus. The disciples complained that it
should have been sold for much money and given to the poor, but
Jesus commended her for doing good. Then He said what she did
should be told to the whole world (verse 13).

Worship means demonstrating "worth-ship," or showing how much
we value someone.

Our giving to the Lord can be evidence of our love, proof of
our devotion, and a sign of our commitment to the Lord.

So our giving should not always be only because of the needs of
people, but because of our love for God.

SAY THIS: I will worship God with what He has given me.


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