Too often we can get a single-track mind on what our “worship” really is. As a Worship Pastor I immediately think of our singing and praising, and other artistic expressions. Others may think of our lifestyle outside of church, how we interact with people, praying, performing any task with excellence, etc. What we often conveniently leave out is our giving.
What has always interested me is the fact that we even call our “giving” to God giving. In actuality aren’t we just returning what we’ve been given? God created it all. It’s all His. God is the owner… we are merely the manager.
Psalm 24:1-2 makes it known that the earth and all that is in it has belonged to God since it’s founding. It says,
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Our giving obviously includes more than just giving monetarily. We are called to give everything… all we are. Our giving does indeed include our money, but it also includes our time/service, attitudes, devotion, etc.
1 Peter 4:10 says,
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Corinthians 4:2 says,
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful
In fact, I would even go so far as to say that giving is not just a “part” of our worship, but instead it IS our worship. It can’t be separated or left out in true God-honoring worship.
Ralph Cushman says,
The worship that is empty handed is, according to the Scriptures, simply not worship at all. The bringing of an offering to God is pictured in the Scripture as a high and inestimable part of worship.
If we aren’t giving then are we truly worshipping? Is our worship truly affecting us in a way that is renewing and transforming us more into the image of God or are we just fooling ourselves?
Don’t just take my word though! The Bible is full of examples of people coming to worship God with offering in hand. Throughout Scripture people approached the glory of God with gift in hand… why do we think we can come empty handed?
Matthew 2:10-11 gives us a clear depiction of worship being directly connected to giving when the wise men enter into the presence baby Jesus. See where it says,
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
That part of the story always used to throw me off. I mean… who gives gifts of that type to a baby? But when you connect the wise men’s worship to their giving of these gifts it totally makes sense!
Let’s face it… many of us have allowed ourselves to get the mindset of entering into worship looking to see what we can get out of it. Let’s remind ourselves that our worship isn’t about us! It isn’t about what we can take away! Our worship is meant for the sole purpose of glorifying the Father… nothing else and nothing less. I guarantee you though that with a correct mindset and attitude you will leave having taken something away because we serve a generous God.
Romans 12:1 says,
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
We see here that giving our entire lives before God is how we are to enter into worship… and yes that includes your time, gifts, attitudes, and money! When we correctly do this we give Him what He rightfully deserves, the first place in our life.
God doesn’t tell us to give because He needs anything that we have… in reality He is the one that gave it to us!
God doesn’t need your money! In fact, God doesn’t even want your money… He wants your devotion!
Matthew 6:19-24 says,
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
How are you entering into worship? Are you giving faithfully your time, money, and devotion?
Proverbs 3:9 says,
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.