“God loves a cheerful giver!”
So the Lord loves you and you love the Lord. You understand that the Lord, out of His love for you, has saved you from sin and death by sacrificing Himself on the cross of Calvary, paying on behalf of you for your sins, so that you might have eternal life in heaven with Him just by believing in Him. You trust Him. You adore Him. You want to be with Him. You want to live for Him. In other words, you are in a serious relationship with God!
When you are in a relationship with someone, where you are in love with that special someone, you are bound to give that person gifts to please and to make them happy, to remind them that your heart is still set aside for them right? That’s the beauty of genuine Love in a relationship – the act of giving.
Likewise, God has given us so much, rather everything, out of His pure generosity, where we were literally undeserving yet He saved us, provides for us, cares for us, loves us… how much more would we want to give Him from our lives? If only we could understand – all that we are and all that we have is from the Lord, only then we would be able to fully comprehend what the psalmist says,
“What will I give to the Lord [in return] For all His benefits toward me? [How can I repay Him for His precious blessings?] “, Psalm 116:12 AMP
Although we cannot repay God for all He has done for us, nothing we do can ever equal His generosity, but our heart still yearns to give something to Him because we want to please Him, we want Him to know that we are His people, His children. What can we give Him?
When we talk about giving to the Lord, first thing that comes to our mind is … Tithing. The word ‘tithe’ means “tenth”, biblically taken from the law of Moses (Leviticus 27:30) which required us to set apart one tenth part of our personal income as an offering to God. While some refuse to submit to this seeing it as more of an obligation, tithing is meant to be a blessing.(Matthew 6:21) I will talk about this particular aspect in another post.
Well some are working, some studying, and some are home makers while others are still deciding to which category they belong. So can all give unto the Lord in terms of money? Is money the only thing we could give to God? No, it is one of the things God has told us to do through His Word for our own benefit (Malachi 3:10).
Now we want to give something to the Lord, tithing in terms of money cannot be done by others who aren’t working, so then what can we give to the Lord in this relationship? How can I please Him, how can I make Him happy? What can I give Him to show Him that I’m His?
Well, I want you to know that everything in your life, including your life, is from God!
“For from him and through him and for him are all things. “ Romans 11:36
He has given you everything, now it is for you to decide how you can give Him tithe out of that!
It was in my season of spiritual dryness, when all my friends either had good jobs or they were amazingly being used in the Lord’s ministry and I felt like I wasn’t doing anything for the Lord, no talents (rather not an expert in them), I haven’t got anything to give to God (no job) and I would think in my mind – if only I had a job I would at least give tithe to the Lord.
It was at that desperate time that it struck me and I came to a realisation that if this is all what the Lord has given me for now, I will yet give Him my tithe from this! (John 3:27)
So what can you give unto the Lord?
God has given you 24 hours a day, how much time are you taking out for Him? We all lead such busy lives but I want to add here that for any relationship to work, say with your spouse, you need to take time from you busy schedule to spend time, to really cultivate that relationship and make it grow. Likewise, you need to spend time with God to nurture that relationship with God. God says in His Word when He talks about all the worries of our lives– Seek Him ‘first’ and everything else will be fine.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33.
Notice ‘first’ in the above verse. Waking up and the first thing we can do is to spend time with God in prayer, seeking His help, His righteousness, His guidance, His providence in our lives and God promises that everything you worry about He will take care of it. What an assurance!
Praying in the morning as the first thing, or even spending quality time in prayer, was never in my schedule though I’ve always wanted to incorporate it in my life. Through the period of battling of the mind with discouragements and anxieties, I’ve tasted how good it is to spend time in prayer, seeking the Lord for His strength, for His encouragement, even more when it is done as the first thing in the morning! During these hard times, I’ve prayed to God saying that more than anything I need to know you God. And as a part of the answer to that prayer the Lord enables me to wake up at the exact time every morning and I know it’s my time with the Lord! If you are finding difficulty with praying in the morning as the first thing, ask the Lord to help you and He surely will!
What are your talents? What are things you love doing in your spare time? It could be playing an instrument, sketching, writing articles whatever it maybe, trying to use those talents for glorifying God could be your gift to God! The Bible says that whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31). You may not be good at that hobby/talent but continue to work on it, and God will increase your skill.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” Luke 6:38
I was going through this period of dryness and discouragement of not being used in the Lord’s ministry or not having talents to use for God, though I sketched and played the piano and sang all day but I was an amateur and I was not really good at them. But then I started to say to myself that with whatever little I have, I’ll use it for God’s glory! I’m still an amateur but I’m glad I’m able to use them in some way for God. I encourage you to use your talents, learning and improving, for God as your gift to Him.
And when Your Father in Heaven sees that you have diligently used your talents for Him to glorify His Name, you would have the privilege of hearing Him say to you:
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21 NIV
So many times we stand church during worship time and we almost don’t really involve ourselves into worshiping God for whatever reason, unwell or not in the mood, discouraged or hurt, or things aren’t as you expected it to be, but I want you to know that when we keep aside our problems and discouragements and choose to worship God above all else, you are offering yourself as a living sacrifice unto the Lord – basically conveying ‘ I don’t care what my circumstance is, whatever I’m going through, I’m created to Worship the Lord, my God in spirit and in truth(John 4:24). And I’m going to worship the LORD for WHO HE IS! He is my Saviour, my Redeemer, my Defender, my Healer, and Almighty God, all powerful, all glorious! – This is the true and proper worship.
“Therefore … offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1 NIV
Lifting up your hands, singing out praises to God, worshipping Him, giving thanks to Him for everything He has done for you, acknowledging His work for you on the cross of Calvary, pursuing to live the rest of your life for Him and seeking His desire and Will for your life at all times is what you can give unto to the Lord by your life.
There was a time when I went through a period of extreme discouragement in my life and I hated myself for not achieving anything in life and I went on to feel that I wasn’t even a good person. But I started saying to myself, no matter what people say I am, no matter what my circumstance may be, no matter how discouraged I feel, no matter how my health is, no matter what! – I will WORSHIP you GOD for WHO YOU ARE. And that’s why regardless of the situation I’m going through, you will always find me worshipping my Almighty God with my entire being and as an outward act of worship, my hands will be lifted up, my mouth will praise Him, my eyes would search for Him and my heart would long to worship Him in spirit and in truth. This is what I can give unto Him – no matter what I’ll worship the Lord who has saved me!
We are all called to worship the Lord (Psalm 95:6-7), so let us resolve to do so as an offering of gratitude unto the Lord for saving us and making us His children!
“I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart, Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name.” Psalm 34:1-3 TLB
If you are in love with someone, you would want to give them something so as to please them. When we are in love with our Lord, we would want to give unto Him to please Him as well. While giving unto the Lord can be seen as Tithing in terms of money from your personal income but there are other lines as well where we can give unto the Lord as a tithe and these are the 3 T’s: Time, Talents and True Worship. The list in not limited to these three but for now these are the major disciplines where we can give unto the Lord as our part of the relationship with our Lord and grow closer to Him on a daily basis.
Giving to the Lord, never drains you! Cheerfully Give!
God bless you!