Hi guys, today I'll be writing about something I have been reflecting on, honestly, before the beginning of this year (2020). During a conversation with a friend, he asked me to go away and think about what I could give to God. I replied to him, what could I possibly give to God that would be enough? I walked away calculating how much money I could add to my offering that would be acceptable to God. But something didn't seem right about that. So I began to pray. For weeks, months, till today and tomorrow. I believe I now have the answer to the question he asked and I believe I am now giving to God what I can but here is where it was confirmed in the bible, for me.
During a study of the book of Luke, I stopped to reflect on Luke 20:20 - 26 and focused on verse 25 in particular because therein lay confirmation of what God had ministered to my heart. Luke 20:25 says:
And he said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Before Jesus gave the response above, He asked whose image was on the coin they had presented with their question. When asked, they confirmed that the image on the coin was that of Caesar. Therefore, render to Caesar what belongs to him. This got me thinking about what we, I also, present to God. What image does it bear? I've heard many sermons about images in the form of idols and how we are to stay away from these. But this image meant something else for me because it reminded me of Genesis 1:27 where God created man in His own image and likeness. Therefore, WE bear the image of God. When others look at us, when others study us, when they observe us, they should see the image and likeness of God! This isn't a physical likeness but rather a spiritual one because we are spirit-beings first. We relate with God spiritually. We discern spiritually.
Now, going back to where we started, talking about what we offer to God, I went back to Luke 18:9-14 which tells the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector and they had very different approaches in their prayers. The Pharisee boasted about his large offering and the tax collector humbly sought mercy. The lesson that was highlighted in the parable was about humility in the presence of God but I believe this is also linked to what we believe is an acceptable offering to God. The stories of Cain and Abel, the widow's mite, etc. are also very good examples of different approaches to offerings. What all these stories highlight to me is that God is not concerned with our monetary offering as much as he is concerned with the state of the heart that presents the offering. I will go so far as to say, any offering to God that does not come in a monetary form but takes on the attributes of humility and acknowledgement of God's worth would be far more acceptable than an offering of the entire holdings of the Bank of England.
The aim of today's post is to challenge you to consider what you give to God. For too long, the church has been way too concerned about the monetary offering members bring, even going so far as to call out individuals who don't 'give' a monetary offering. It really saddens me that this idea of giving 10% or any monetary offering is what pleases God when in fact, He is more concerned about the state of our heart towards Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ. How many times have we danced to place our offering on the altar, knowing full well we are in a dispute with a brother/sister? Read Matthew 5:23-24. How many times do we begrudgingly bring our gifts to the altar because we felt 'compelled' to, or didn't want to be the odd one out? That's not the type of offering God desires - read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7. God desires our heart more than anything. He desires for us to be in communion with Him. He desires for us to walk according to His will and purpose for our lives. He desires that everything we ask for, we get - read Matthew 6:33. Do not offer to God, what is meant for someone else. Instead, ask yourself, if I am made in the image of God, what can I offer God? Read Romans 12:1- 2 and stay tuned for the next post where we will discuss what we CAN offer to God.