The Motivation For Giving
Jason Gillespie, Lead Pastor Grace Bible Church
If we were to number all the ways God has blessed us from our salvation to everyday provisions we could never repay God for His kindness. This truth is outlined in many places in the Bible. The essence of giving is an act of worship. This worship is founded upon God’s benevolence to His people. In both the OT and NT we see this pattern played out in the lives of God’s people.
All through ancient history worshipper have always given to their deity or deities. This religious expression came in diverse forms: animal sacrifice, grain offering, liquids poured out, human sacrifices, fruits and grains and a host of others items. These acts were always done in order to appease or ensure blessing from their deities. The contrast is clear in both Old and New Testaments.
The sacrifices in the Bible are always motivated out of what God has done. We don’t have the space to outline the types of sacrifices the OT people were to give to God, but here are just a few: gifts, slaughter, whole burnt offering, peace offering, sin offering, contribution and tenths. These sacrifices were to be given to God, by the Israelites, as a means of worship for all God had done for them. For example, the Passover meal and Feast of Unleavened bread are sacrifices God established so the Nation of Israel would remember what God did for them. These ceremonial responses to God’s kindness were to be practice, so they would not forget God’s kindness.
If we, fast forward, to the NT we find Jesus as the true Passover Lamb. His life, death, burial and resurrection are the pinnacle of our salvation and just like the OT worshippers we are called to worship God for what He has accomplished for us. The NT gives us new forms of worship, that are rooted to what the OT worship pointed us to, and that is an ultimate Redeemer. But what is still the same is the heart of worship, which is gratitude. Our singing, preaching, communion, baptism, giving and living a life to the glory of God are all fueled by thankfulness. Since our worship is to be marked by gratitude, as God has always intended, it is our duty as believers to know what God has truly done for us in our salvation, so that our worship to God will be motivated out of a humble and grateful heart.