Today we are talking about everyone’s favorite subject: money! Our passage is talking about giving a portion of the first fruits of the crops back to the Lord. It pictures this process as an act of worship, not obligation. It is an act of giving to God what was his in the first place. When you see yourself as a steward of your money and not an owner, it allows you to be much more generous.
Look closely at verses 8-11:
8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! 10 And now, O Lord, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the Lord your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him. 11 Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.
Notice that the reason for joy in giving is an overflow of what God has done to provide for the people of Israel. Giving back to God what he has already provided is a very simple, yet important, act of worship. And after you commit your offering to the Lord, it says to celebrate what God allows you to keep!
Again, obeying the law of the Lord is not something that must be done begrudgingly. Even in the Old Testament, God is concerned about the heart, not just the law. “Today the Lord your God has commanded you to obey all these decrees and regulations. So be careful to obey them wholeheartedly.” (16)
When you think about your giving, is it an overflow of a wholehearted devotion to God? When you look at your budget, is it marked by a position of stewardship or ownership?
Ask God to help you as you seek to make every part of your life reflect the gospel that has changed you.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate