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Sacrificial giving as an act of worship

1 Corinthians 13:3 ~ And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

In the Old Testament, the law required the people to tithe and sacrifice as acts of worship to God. The priests were paid from a portion of the offerings received. Provision was made for the poor during harvest seasons. However, Jesus and the disciples taught that there is more to the act of sacrificial giving that determines whether it is true worship or just religious obligation.

A heart of worship

1 Corinthians 13:3 tells us that God is more interested in how we think and feel towards Him than simply doing. Both the actions of obedience and a heart for the One who we are obedient to, are required for worship. When it comes to giving financially to a Christian ministry this is the first point we must wrestle with. Give with a glad heart.

Sacrificial worship

The second thing we see by studying the Scriptures on this topic, is that sacrificial worship must be a sacrifice. The best lamb was required for the sacrifice and the first fruits of the harvest were required for the tithe. ‘Sacrificial’ doesn’t mean the amount we give but rather the priority with which we give it. Someone giving R100 can be more worshipful than someone giving R10 000.

This concept was illustrated by Jesus in Mark 12:41-44 which says, “So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury”

Worship through giving

The Bible has a lot to say about how we should steward the financial resources God has given to us. But without a doubt, the next time you give to your church or Christian ministry, be joyful and praise His name in thankfulness because that makes it worship.

Philippians 4:18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.


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