Give our best

There is a principle found throughout the Bible concerning our giving to the Lord. The principle is very simple: you must give your best. When it came to animals that were sacrificed, here are the instructions God gave the Israelites.

“You shall not offer anything that has a blemish, for it will not be acceptable for you. And when anyone offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it. Animals blind or disabled or mutilated or having a discharge or an itch or scabs you shall not offer to the Lord or give them to the Lord as a food offering on the altar” (Leviticus 22:20-22 ESV). Continue reading “Give our best”

Being a generous giver

At the end of 1 Corinthians, Paul asked the Christians in Corinth to have the funds ready for the famine relief in Judea. When he wrote the letter of 2 Corinthians, he still had not been by to pick up this collection – and he was afraid that they still wouldn’t be ready (read 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, especially 2 Corinthians 9:5).

Although this was a one-off collection to help Christians in a country far away, probably Christians they never would meet, there are a number of principles that should be part of our lives as Christians and in particular as Christians who are generous. Continue reading “Being a generous giver”

The joy of giving

Yesterday was a day of giving for many of us, particularly those who live in the Western World. Christmas Day has become a time for the giving and receiving of gifts. Being a day of rest for most professions, we were able to spend the entire day with family, enjoying each other’s company, eating a feast together, and then playing games and watching films.

Although as children, our emphasis too often was on what we were “getting” for Christmas, as we grew older the enjoyment is what we are able to give to others. We realise the problem when we hear children who are more concerned with how many gifts have their name on them rather than wishing to see the joy on someone’s face because of the gift we gave them. Continue reading “The joy of giving”

Giving as God would have it

“Superman” was popular in my neighborhood in the 1960s. His two most amazing abilities were his x-ray vision and flight. We thought it must be amazing to be able to see inside buildings like Superman could.

There was a real person who lived who could see inside a person’s mind. It was Jesus Christ. In John 1:48, Jesus looked into Nathaniel’s mind and told him he was able to see him although they were separated by some distance. Continue reading “Giving as God would have it”

Ready for every good work

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:1-2 ESV).

Sometimes, even in the midst of terrible tragedies, things happen that reinforce one’s faith in people. Perhaps I should have said “especially in the midst of tragedies” because it is the response of Christians to victims of disaster that has prompted the above thought. Continue reading “Ready for every good work”