The Monday feature of this blog will focus on a proverb from one of Solomon’s writings (e.g., Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon).
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” (Prov 3:9)
Everything we own is from God and is meant to be used for God’s will. There really isn’t anything of value that we have created on our own or thought of outside of God’s enabling. Every penny we have “earned” in our life is because God gave us the skill-set to earn it and provided a wage through the company or individual who paid us.
Thus, the principle of this proverb is simple: give to God what already belongs to Him.
When we give to God – through the means of tithes or offering – we are worshipping Him. Donald Whitney has written in his book Spiritual Disciplines within the Church,
“Giving is preeminently an act of worship. It ought then to be a focal point of thanksgiving and self-dedication in weekly worship…It’s worship because when you give to God through the church you are giving a part of yourself. You exchange a significant measure of your life and labor for salary or wages, and when you give some of that money to God you give that which represents you.” (pgs. 121-122)
Paul told the Philippians when he collected money from them their sacrificing was “a sweet-smelling aroma” to the Lord (Phil 4:18).
Don’t think of your tithes and offerings as simply going to pay the church’s bills or pastor’s salary but as an act of devotion to the Lord.
Think about the term “offering plate”: we call it that because this is what we are “offering” God as a form of our dedication to God. In fact, I would suggest when you give to the Lord in tithes or offerings, if you are not thinking of Him, you are no different than the person who sings hymns without thinking of the Lord or reading the Word without mediating upon it.
Give God what He deserves, what He has given you, and what pleases Him.