Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them. Exodus 25:2 (NLT)
I was listening to my Bible the other day and I heard today's text. Made me think....the Bible is pretty clear that we are to give God our tithe (Malachi 3:10). And it notes that tithe is ten percent. We are also told to give offering above what we give in tithe. But there really isn't a set amount.
And there is the rub. There isn't an amount so it's easy to forget about what this really is. Our offering is the amount we give to God from our heart. It says in Exodus 25:2 that God only wanted the contributions of those whose hearts were in it. It also says that again in Exodus 35:5.
"Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord." And in 1 Chronicles 29:9, "Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord." and "You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake." Deuteronomy 15:10.
The New Testament continues the thought.
"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7
There are so many texts about giving and sharing, taking care of others and trusting that God will provide. The thing that amazed me is that with all God gives us, what he wants in return is for our hearts to be in it. He wants us to be so in love with him that we willingly give to him and his people. And from that overflowing of worship, all the needs would be cared for.
If this is how we are supposed to give and if we love God as much as we say we do, why do we have such poverty in our world? Makes you wonder......