Giving as worship
Learning to be a giver—is just that—a learning experience.
We begin with learning to give consistently…working our giving up to a tithe of our income as we noted in Am I required by God to Tithe:
Then our next step is understanding the idea of Sowing Seed.
Again it is the idea of learning to give…moving into the realm of generosity.
This last step in giving elevates giving into the realm of worship.
Giving As Worship.
This realm of giving elevates giving into a new realm. There are a couple of scriptural texts that tell stories of this kind of giving.
When the tabernacle was being built—it required items: gold, silver, garments, and various items needed for construction. Exodus tells us two significant things.
# 1. People gave from their hearts: Exodus 35:21 (NIV) “…and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.” There is no coercion. No fancy talking. Giving was simply a manifestation of their hearts.
# 2. People gave so much Moses told them to stop giving! Exodus 36:6-7 (NIV) “Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work”.
Now fast forward to the building of temple. David, the king has picked up on this very same idea. He is making preparations for his son Solomon to build the temple. In 1 Chronicles 19 David gives the list of all the things he and the people of Israel have donated. The reason for his giving is revealed in his prayer of praise in 1 Chronicles 29:10-20. Of special note, however is verses 13-15: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.”
So, the point I see here is the connection between giving and worship. Giving was not simply an ‘obligation’ or a ‘duty’ which is in essence the tithe in the old covenant system. Giving became an expression of love, desire, and passion towards God.
You see this in these texts as well:
- The Widow’s Offering: Mark 12:41-44 (NIV) “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’”
Let’s be honest—that’s crazy! Who gives ‘all they have to live on?’ Was she nuts? Who does that? Extravagant worshippers!
2. Barnabas sells a field. Acts 4:36-37 (NIV) “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Let’s be honest—that’s crazy! Who sells a field…and gives ALL the proceeds to ministry? Most churches would be happy with a simple tithe from the sale!
The Lord wants to elevate your giving into the realm of worship. May that be your goal too!