Wednesday, July 9, 2014

When Is Our Offering Not Good Enough?

I can't really understand why people have a problem with tithes and offerings. I guess they get all caught up in where it goes and how it is spent but that really isn't our problem. Whoever receives the tithes and offerings are accountable to the Lord for them, but we are accountable in our relationship of love for offering them. And let's be clear, tithes and offerings have nothing to do with a law and everything to do with love and appreciation.

Cain and Abel knew nothing of a law but had a desire to honour the Creator:

And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LordAbel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. (Genesis 4:3-4)

It was natural for them, in their relationship with Yahweh, to want to honour him. It should be natural for us also, who love the Lord. But we need to be careful in our attitude of honouring because this isn't just anyone, this is the Creator of all things. Love requires our best and Cain had not yet learned this. Abel brought his best and Cain brought without much thought:

And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. (v. 4-5)

It's just like us to project our failure onto other people instead of facing it and learning from it. Listen to the tenderness of the Lord's correction and hear the voice of a Father who just wants his son to learn and do better next time:

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (v. 6-7)

Sure the Lord was disappointed with Cain not giving his best but he knew Cain could do better. That is what he is like with us. He wants our best because that is how love manifests itself. A husband who only puts in a partial effort in showing his love for his wife is lacking a manifestation of that love. We may even conclude that there is a lack of love but there is also a potential for a greater love to grow.

Many of us love the Lord but we struggle to see that manifested in our actions. Perhaps it is a lack of understanding of what we owe him. Perhaps we think that he will accept whatever little thing we bring; it seems to be the truth of the current attitude in the Church today. But when we walk in the Spirit, having communion with our Lord daily and live for his will alone, it is only natural for us to offer our best in time, talents and finances. We simply do not want to accept the thought that Jesus would reject anything we bring but that's because we worship a fanciful idea of Jesus instead of the biblical truth.

Yes, let us come and worship, but let us make sure that our offering is a true reflection of our heart for Jesus.

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