Giving

I once read a book entitled, All I Needed to Know in Life, I Read in Kindergarten, by John Fulgren.  All I need to know about pure worship, I learned from the book of Deuteronomy.

A blessed people were told how to recognize God, celebrate with joy in worship, in fellowship, support the worship leaders, and care for the needs of the less fortunate. All of this was accomplished by setting aside a tenth of their gain from their crops, vines, flocks, and herds.

Each year called for a celebration and a family feast. It was to include the Levites and others who were less fortunate. Every third year an additional tithe was to be given to the Levites, who had no inheritance of the land. Make no mistake, the tithe belongs to the Lord, first and foremost (Leviticus 27:30).  This was a holy presentation to the Lord.

It is of great interest to see how God wanted them to come into his presence and rejoice (Deuteronomy 14:26).  The flow of blessings was from God to family, to worship leaders, to outsiders, and to widows. It was an all-inclusive celebration.  God was also careful to point out that this act of giving should be done generously without a grudging heart. Our attitude in giving is as important to God as the act of giving. When our heart is right in our response to God, we are in position for God to bless us.

The description of being “open handed” in our sharing with those in need is a clear picture of generosity. When Jesus sent the apostles out, He told them “You have freely received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8).  The tithe is not about what we have not received, but of what we have received. Giving is mostly a “heart” issue. It has more to do with attitude and gratitude than platitude and magnitude. Giving is a celebration of the heart.

- Dale Clemens