Day 67: Responsive Giving
"Because" vs. "So That"

Read Leviticus 1:1-9

It was a mistake. I was robbing God’s people of their response. My discomfort with the money topic led us to not take an offering during worship in our early days. Naturally, many people asked how to give. They thought it strange how I, as the pastor, treated the offering like a “red‐headed stepchild.” This was not God’s intention.

In Leviticus, God gave detailed instructions (some say, “ad nauseam!”) on various offerings—or sacrifices—for worship. God always intended His people to have skin in the game. We just have to keep in mind that what we bring isn’t so that God will save us, but because He saved us. The worshipers in Leviticus were already delivered from slavery in Egypt. They were already sealed by the covenant of circumcision. These offerings were pictures of the sacrifice that was to come, whereby all sins were forgiven: “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). Jesus’ sacrifice inspires us to give in response.

We do not give livestock or grain, but our selves—our whole selves! We offer our whole lives and all that we have as a living sacrifice in view of God’s mercy shown to us in Jesus (Romans 12:1). This response is not so that, but because God loves us.

A newsboy wasn’t selling any newspapers because of the bitter cold. The boy snuck into a church service hoping to hide for an hour and regain feeling in his digits. There he heard the most amazing good news about God’s grace to us through Jesus Christ. When the offering was taken, an usher stood before the boy holding the plate. The boy stared at it. Then he told the usher to set it on the floor. The boy placed both feet in the plate and looked up at the man with grateful tears in his eyes and said, “I ain’t sold no papers today to give any money, sir, but if Jesus did what the preacher said, I gladly give my whole life back to Him!” That is what our offerings are about.