God owns everything, including the clothes hanging in your closet, the cars parked in your garage, your 401(k), your paychecks, your furniture, every digital device at your fingertips, your lawn, your children, even the breath you just took. And everything else you call your own. It’s really his.
Everything belongs to God
He is the owner. You are the manager. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
When God asked the Israelites in the Old Testament to bring him offerings, they brought him sick sheep, deformed goats, spotted lambs, and blind bulls. “After all,” they might have thought. “God owns everything so why should it matter? We can keep the good ones.”
God rebuked them, “I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.... Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 51:9,10,14,15).
God expects offerings are from our best
God wanted the offerings that they had promised. He wanted their genuine interest, their heart of faith, their faithful obedience to his saving name expressed in the quality of their gifts. God asks the same of us, and he gives us so much that we have every opportunity to give back.
God gave quality sheep and bulls to the Israelites. More than that, he gave the priceless sacrifice of his Son who would come as their Savior. And ours. God doesn’t hold back his best. His own Son. “How will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?
God graciously out-gives us
You can’t out-give God. So when he asks for your first and best instead of your leftovers, don’t worry. Give it to him. He can give you more. He will give you more. Perhaps even what is better.
When we give money to God as an offering at church, we want to follow the example of the Macedonian churches. “Their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity…they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability…they gave themselves first to the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 8:2,3,5).
We, too, want to give God our joy; our generosity; yes, ourselves. Our best. Not leftovers.
Here I am, God. Here is my first and best. Here is all of me. I’m holding nothing back. Because you give me Jesus and all things.
Source: Holy Word Lutheran Church’s What’s the Word blog (07/31/2017). Holy Word serves campuses in Austin and Pflugerville, TX.