Count off seven weeks from when you first begin to cut the grain at the time of harvest. Then celebrate the Festival of Harvest to honor the LORD your God. Bring him a voluntary offering in proportion to the blessings you have received from him. This is a time to celebrate before the LORD your God at the designated place of worship he will choose for his name to be honored. Celebrate with your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites from your towns, and the foreigners, orphans, and widows who live among you. Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, so be careful to obey all these decrees. (Deuteronomy 16: 9-12 NLT)
The people were to bring a voluntary offering in proportion to the blessings they had received from God.
They were to question themselves and ask, “Had they received much or little?”. Then they were to give.
Perhaps the New Testament equivalent would be this Scripture:
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
(2 Corinthians 9: 7 NLT).
I cannot help but wonder if there is a direct correlation between our giving and our awareness of how blessed we truly are as a people.
Remembering … who they once were, where they had come from and seeing who they had become, then produced in them hearts that were willing to give.
And so this morning, I find myself asking these two questions:
- How much do I perceive myself as “blessed”?
- Does that perception reflect in my giving?
What becomes crucial is not the amount but the attitude in which we give.
God, who knows and appraises our hearts, values only those gifts that come as a free expression of the deepest part of our souls. (New American Commentary, Vol. 29, page 406)
Another look at 2 Corinthians 9:7 opened my eyes to the reason the Lord loves those who give cheerfully. God Himself gives to us, willingly and abundantly. He Himself is a cheerful giver.
We may never look more like our Father than when
we give cheerfully, willingly, and generously.