Psalm 76:11: Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,
Gift is brought out of respect, recognition and response to something, or to get a response. When the widow of Zeraphath gave her meal to Elijah, it was because Elijah had made her expectant about the endless supply of God that will come as a result of that (1Kings 17). He told her the barrel of flour will not cease and the cruse of oil will not end, by the word of the Lord. That word was going to supply the creative energy to make the supply go on and on. But she needed to sow into that word, as she was given a new vision of the possibility of what she has.
When Saul was made king, certain men said they were not going to respect him as such and would not take gifts to him (1Samuel 10:27). They refused to show him recognition as the new king. He showed no respect for his office.
When Jesus was born, wise men from the East, in recognition of who he was, chose to come all the way to give him gifts (Matthew 2:1-11). They recognised how prestigious he was and they felt compelled that they needed to respond to that. That had an uncommon vision of Jesus and they gave an uncommon response in what they gave him. You need a distinct vision of God to be able to bring him gifts as you should.
When you give a king a gift you are setting up yourself for favour for you and your generation. When David was in a difficult situation, and he ran away from Jerusalem where his throne was (he went into the bush) one old man Barzillai who was rich man brought supplies to the king and his household.
And at the end of the ordeal the king wanted Barzillai to come with him to Jerusalem, but he said he does not was not to go as a old man but his son can follow David who promised to set him up big time. Because of the gift that his father gave to the king, that young man entered into favour with the head of the kingdom (2Samuel 17:27-29, 2Samuel 19:32-43).
The Bible says that the gift of man makes way for him and brings him before kings (Proverbs 18:16). What you have to offer will determine how valuable you are, what you give to others also shows how you value them.
Jesus valued what a widow gave as offering even though it was small (Luke 21:1-4) but what her all. God saw her heart saw her motivation, and in heaven that was a big gift given to God, and she will not miss her reward. A centurion who contributed to the temple was rewarded for his effort when Jesus was implored by people who knew him to heal his servant. They told Jesus that he deserved it (Luke 7:1-10).
Giving gifts to God is your response to him, recognition of him and respect for him. Your gift also commands the same from God. When Abel offered an offering to God, the Bible says that God had respect (recognition and response) to his offering (Genesis 4:1-13). And he got divine recognition, respect and response because of it.
In the book of Malachi, God challenged some people about their bad habits involving bringing animals to offer to him which they could not offer to their governor? He said: I am a great king, and you must respect me (Malachi 1).
Paul recognised the Christians in Philippi as being great contributors to his work, supporting him and he said that God will supply their needs, that God will respond to their generosity by his divine generosity (2Corinthians 8). Giving to God has been described as sowing seed with the inevitable promise of harvest. And Jesus said: give and it shall be given back to you (Luke 6:38).
What you give shows how generous your heart is and how much like God (the primary source) you look. The question is: what do we have that we were not given (1Corinthians 4:7)? So in appreciation to the giver, give to others.
There are three kinds of gifts that you can give God
Paul acknowledged that the Christians in Macedonia first gave themselves to God before they gave their materials to God (2Corinthians 8:5). Giving yourself, speaks of your love and motivation. God does not just see the act, he also sees the intent of the heart.
Everything you do does not stand isolated, but it is coloured by your motivation, either if it is eye service or done from genuine love from the heart.
Ananias and Sapphira were obviously not motivated by devotion to God when they sold their property and lied about the (Acts 5). They wanted to manipulate public opinion in their favour, but they died because they lied to the Holy Spirit. Their motivation was wrong, they gave gifts to God but not themselves in a life of holiness first.
Paul said even if we give our goods to be burnt, we are nothing, without love (1Corinthians 13). Motivation is everything when it comes to giving gifts to God.
That was the situation that King Saul was in when he was rebellious and did not obey God who said that he should destroy all in Amalek (1Samuel 15). He wanted to bribe God by claiming that he spared some animals to make sacrifice to him. He was not committed to God from the heart but was full of his own ways, and he wanted to cover up his rebellious heart with his outward show of devotion. It does not work.
This is another intangible aspect of giving to God. While giving ourselves to God, what he looks for is our lifestyle and motivation, giving God our time, is about our activities geared towards seeking God because we love him.
Time involve the use of mental energy, physical energy and skills in the service of God, which we are offering to God as gifts of his grace and divine supply. With your time you pray.
Some are not invested on a personal level in their relationship with God and sometimes give gifts in the church as a means of calming the roar of their conscience, dulling it.
Maybe they are big-time sinners but think that when they make sacrifice of time like fasting they will make an impression on God though they are not committed to obeying him from the heart.
Some people Jesus delivered chose to reciprocate by supplying the needs of his ministry with their material substance. Giving is part of the gospel, as the people of God are responsive to the Holy Spirit, they supply the needs of different ministries.
We need to allow God to flow through us in his generosity. Either your life is about your possession or about God and his agenda on the earth, acknowledging that he is the one who gives you the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
What you give is your flow to heaven (after heaven has flown to you) which also provokes a flow from heaven in an endless cycle of blessed connection/communication between heaven and earth in your life. Jacob saw a vision of angels going up to God and coming down on a ladder (Genesis 28:12, John 1:51), in a continual up and down flow.
God gave Jesus as the gift that keeps giving, and we give to heaven the gifts of our lives, our time, energy and materials. With what you do, you lose things on earth that are allowed in heaven (Matthew 18:18), you live your life in sync with heaven, where the giving flow started.
- Call me an Extremist (histruthwillsetyoufree.wordpress.com)
- Defining the Holy Spirit (ministersjourney.wordpress.com)
- Father, Son and Spirit (mylordmyfriend.com)
- The Holy Spirit and Slander (wsforchrist.com)