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Gifts for God
What Are We Giving to God?
What are you giving to God? The common tendency is for us to think that God is a Giving Machine. We stretch out hands or hold them and always expect to receive goodies from above. The truth is that God is our Creator and the Father of those who have accepted the Gift of His Son, as Savior and Lord. As Creator and Father, God loves and gives us the best. In fact, in Romans 8:32 the Bible declares that God gave up the most valuable "thing" for us - His Son, Jesus Christ, and there is nothing else that He will not do for us. So, God gives the best and do we give Him anything in return?
Does God need anything from us to be God or, does He need anything from us to be complete? A resounding, "No!" Why then should we give to God and what can we give?
Let me venture to add that we can give only what is in our power to give - worship, time, talents and resources.
When I say "worship" some will immediately picture themselves in the sanctuary, lifting their hands and praising God. That is good, but it is not good enough. Worship ought to consume us and it should punctuate every aspect of our daily lives. I believe that we do not do worship, but we live worship. Our moments are spent being conscious of our Father and so we walk in reverence to Him, while reaching out in love, courtesy and compassion to all others. If we really worship, the people on the bus, in the store, at the ball game and at work will know.
Then what about our time? Is God getting the best of our time? Yes, God knows that we have children and have to work. He also knows that we are married and must devote time to our spouses. Yes, He also knows that we are involved in church work and have to attend a meeting. What He does not understand is why we do not make a greater effort to share some of our spare time with Him. "What time?" you may ask. All that time we spend doing a whole bunch of other things, some of which are unfruitful and downright unproductive. We can do better with the time we give to God - no doubt.
Should we talk about talents? How many of us have buried our talents like that fellow who received one (was really money) in one of Jesus' parables? Some of us might not have buried our talents, but God is not being honored by what He gave us. Is that you? Do you sing? Can you comfort? Do you organize well? Do you have a knack for befriending others? What is it? Let us give it God.
Finally, let us talk about giving our resources to God. We read in the Gospels of one Mary, Lazarus' sister, who, before she knew Jesus approached Him while He was having a meal at a Pharisee's house. The story goes on that Mary produced a container with a very expensive ointment and poured it on Jesus' feet while using her hair to dry them. What was the cost of the ointment? By one's estimate - a year's salary. One of Jesus' disciples remarked that the ointment should have been sold and the money used to feed the poor. Jesus rebuked Judas and told him to leave Mary alone. Furthermore, Jesus said that Mary had done a good work and her action would always be remembered. Wow!
Jesus was right as usual. Two thousand years later we are still reading about Mary. Pretty cool, right?
The point is simple: Jesus honors the gift when the best is given. Remember Cain and Abel. Our understanding is that Abel gave the best to God, while Cain did not. Abel's gift was accepted and Cain's was not.
I heard a story of the $100, $50, $20 through $1 bills. The bills had some kind of sharing time to talk about their adventures. One bill after another shared how they had been to palaces, mansions, theatres and many prestigious places around the world. When it was time for the $1 bill to share, it said that while the others had been around the world it had spent most of its time in church. Now think about that.
So what are we giving to God? He has given the best and continues to do so. Will we also step up and give Him what He deserves? That is the point. We do not give our best to God because He needs it. We give our best to God because He deserves it.