Leviticus 5:11: “But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two pigeons, then he shall bring as his offering for the sin that he has committed a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it and shall put no frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. (ESV)
God is a giver. When he made man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, he invested his Spirit into man, as the bearer of his image on the earth (Genesis 1:26-18, 2:7). And after sin came in and the Adam and Eve discovered that they are naked, God provided a better covering in the form of the skin of a lamb (Genesis 3).
As a giver, Abraham was outstanding. He gave his son when God asked for it (Genesis 22). God had given him precious promises and had told him: walk before me and be perfect. He was called to a life of obedience which later involved taking the steps to sacrifice his son even though he did not practically execute it as he was given another instruction to give something else: a ram caught in the tickets.
Abraham was tested in his much he values the presence of God, and he passed.
Relationship is about giving. If there is no giving there is no relationship and the relationship between us and God is not different.
The bible says that for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). So by giving his son, he gave us eternal life (1John 5:11).
But there is nothing we need to give in return to benefit from that gift- it is our faith. We are to put our faith in Jesus, rely on him, make the sure to leave everything and follow Jesus.
David said he will not give God what does not cost him anything (2Samauel 24:24). He fully grasps the idea that giving is paramount in any relationship. He had enough reverence for God and love for him to want to give to him.
When it comes to the building of the temple, though eventually he did not do it, the bible says that he generously provide for the temple that his son would build and his generosity provoked many leaders to give with the same spirit of generosity.
His valuation of the importance of the house of God, of building a house for God, helped to shape other people’s values.
The religion in the Old Testament was about giving, sacrifice were made daily, monthly, yearly, everyone was to bring of the produce of the ground, fruit of the animals. They were told that it is God who gives them the power to get wealth.
And in the New Testament, Paul said that we should offer our bodies as living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). This is our sensible response to the sacrifice Jesus made for us by dying for our sins and the benefits that have accrued to us through them.
What you give determines what you receive, and that is what Jesus said. He said: give and it will be given to you, good measure pressed down shaken together shall men pour into your bosom (Luke 6:38).
Even Jesus did not try to receive without first giving. He did not receive many sons into glory without first giving himself (Hebrews 2:10). He said: except a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides along but when it dies it brings forth many seeds, the seed sown gets multiplied (John 12:23-25). That is the nature of seed. The seed may look insignificant but it has the capacity to be multiplied.
Jesus gave himself and he also wants us to give ourselves. Paul said that we should be living sacrifices i.e. sacrifice with no end point. That it is living means that we should constantly need and opportunity to make the sacrifice. It is an ongoing sacrifices, where we separate ourselves to the glory of God.
As living sacrifices with living devotion to God, and dedication to him, our lives becomes seeds like Jesus’ was.
Be becomes seeds for spiritual impact in other peoples’ lives. Paul talked about his own sacrifice saying that he makes up what is lacking in the sacrifice of Jesus (Colossians 1:24). Not that the sacrifice of Jesus is not enough, but someone has to pay the sacrifice to bring the message, and that involves giving ourselves in self-sacrifice.
David said that he will not give God what does not cost him anything. He paid for the place where an altar was built even though it was offered to him free.
Our giving creates a channel between heaven and earth. It creates a landing pad for the things God is releasing, or wants to release. Our giving is a statement of desire for more.
The widow of Zeraphath gave, part of what she thought was not enough to feed herself and her son, to the prophet for the release of the multiplied blessings of God (1Kings 17).
That is the reason it is more blessed to given that to receive, according to the words of Jesus quoted by Paul (Acts 20:35). When we give we create the possibility for receiving in multiple folds. And Jesus said we should be faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon (money), so that we may have true riches.
When you give you show a heart of obedience, that you care, you show your divinity. God is generous and it is that trait that we exhibit as givers.
Giving also expresses lack of fear of lack. Fear causes people to withhold more than is necessary (2Timothy 1:6-7). They hoard money and are not generous. You cannot be a lover of God and not want to give, as your love for God is reflected in your love for others. When you trust God to provide for your needs you will give.
- The story of the Bible, in 50 words (rare.us)
- “The Prophetic Vocation of the Laity” – Homily by Fr. Cristino (swordsoftruth.com)
- 9th Year: Gospel of Matthew (nineyearbible.wordpress.com)
- Repentance to Good News (stream.org)
- How The Land Of Israel And The Hebrew Bible Fueled The American Revolution (failedmessiah.typepad.com)
- 13 July: St. Ezra, Old Testament Prophet (wdtprs.com)
- Who Through Jesus Sleep (christadelphianworld.blogspot.com)
- The problem when homosexuals misquote scripture to support their lifestyle (theaustralianopinion.blogspot.com)
- Where the Bible Really Stands on Slavery (blackpressusa.com)
- Do We Need the New Testament? (John Goldingay) — Review (bobcornwall.com)