Yesterday, we talked about how people have a desire to give to the Lord but that all gifts are not valued by Him. We looked at some early examples of our Biblical fathers giving offerings and paying tithes to the Lord as well. Today, I want to continue with one more example that we can use as we begin to build our foundation of understanding on the subject of giving. It is important to note that these are not the only examples, just the first three obvious examples of people planning and arranging to give something of themselves to God.
We don’t want to assume that our gifts are acceptable to Him. Just like when you give to someone special in your life, we want to study His Word and discover what He has told us is important to Him. We want our gifts to Him to show that we love Him and have a desire to obey Him. It’s not enough to just throw some pocket money at Him or who we think His representative is. We want to express our love to Him in everything that we do.
With that in mind, let’s look at one more example:
Example 3: Jacob
“And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” – Genesis 28:20-22
Genesis 28 contains the story of Jacob who, having received the blessings from Isaac, was sent on a journey to find a wife but not from the local Canaanite women. This is the story of the Angels of God ascending and descending the ladder that reached to heaven. I would note that one of the indications that the person that Jacob saw was Jesus comes from the language that states the angels were “ascending and descending” from heaven. This is verbiage that clearly indicates the identity of the messengers of God. There is only One who ascends and descends from heaven. All others are sent or cast out. Language is important in understanding the meanings.
Jacob receives the Lord’s blessing (a reiteration of the blessings given to Abraham and Isaac, showing the lineage that the blessings follow). Jacob awakens disturbed because he has just met the Lord face-to-face in his dream, declares the place holy, and pledges to the Lord. If the Lord will be with him and keep him, supplying his needs, and eventually returning him to his father Isaac’s house, Jacob will give a tenth of all that God gives him (his “increase”).
Again, we have an incident of a man pledging an offering or gift to the Lord.
A Rule of Thumb
There are many more examples of giving to the Lord in Scripture, but I think that these three are enough to give us a foundation of understanding. When we give, we must approach the Lord with humility and a contrite heart, as everything already belongs to Him and He is the authority..
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” – Psalm 24:1
Since the Lord owns everything to begin with, He does not need your money or your property. You cannot give the Lord any material possession that He does not already have a claim on. So if the Lord already owns everything, what is the point of giving Him anything? The answer is because the Lord wants an immaterial thing. He has given you the freedom to go your own way, and now He wants you to make the choice to give Him yourself. He wants your heart.
A Concept Westerners Struggle With
This is a concept that westerners really struggle with. Having come from a culture where we bow to no man and where individual pride runs deep, we don’t really understand the concept of being owned by a master. We don’t have a grasp on the true meaning of sovereignty. The concept of willingly giving of everything of ourselves, up to and including our very lives, is a foreign concept to us. The eastern feudal system of China or Japan represent the reality of a sovereign-vassal relationship far better than the western individualism. God wants you to give yourself to Him in this manner. To mature in your faith, you must recognize this relationship.
Look At the Apostles
Look at how the apostles introduced themselves:
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” – Romans 1:1
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” – James 1:1
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” – Jude 1:1
These are men who understood that the ultimate gift to God was to give yourself totally and completely to Him, completely subjugating your will to His. Moses gives a beautiful description of this sacrifice in Deuteronomy:
“If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.
It shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also you shall do likewise to your maidservant.” – Deuteronomy 15:12-17
Set Free to Choose to Be A Bond-Servant to the Master
I have been set free by the Master. But because I love my Master and I love my family, I choose to become a permanent bond-servant to the Master. Because of love, I will serve.
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” – Matthew 26:39
This is the beginning of giving to the Lord.
A Humble Heart
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” – Psalm 51:17
God will not despise a humble heart set before Him. He is not some slot machine to which you give because of the expectation of getting something in return. So many of our churches appeal to our greed. Some will say that if you will just give a little to this cause or that cause, you will receive tremendous return. They often pull scripture out of context to support that, but the “giving to get” message misses the point entirely. God does not need or want your “things”, including your money. He wants your heart.
Yes, there are many blessings promised to those who give from this humbleness, but giving in order to get places the cart before the horse. You do not give to the Lord in order to receive. You give because your heart belongs to Him. He is your sovereign Lord, and even if there is no reward in kind you give because you love Him.
You can give whatever you want to any cause that you desire, but to get credit with the Lord, you must give according to the criteria He has laid out before us in His Word. You must give from the position that it is all His anyways and that you are merely a caretaker or steward of His belongings (including your own person). The gift that has the greatest meaning to Him is the gift of yourself. Any other gift, whether it be financial, labor, talents, or just time, must begin from that basis.
The Value of a Gift
When you give to the Lord, how is that gift valued? Tomorrow, I’ll show you how the Scripture is very clear on determining the value of your gift to the Lord. I’ll also get into some specifics on how the Lord has asked us to give to Him. There are some very clear guidelines that we can pull from Scripture to help us make our best decisions on giving to the Lord.
- 1 – A Christian Prepper’s Perspective on Giving- Part 1, by R2
- 3 – A Christian Prepper’s Perspective on Giving- Part 3, by R2
- 4 – A Christian Prepper’s Perspective on Giving- Part 4, by R2
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part two of a four part entry for Round 74 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 74 ends on January 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.