Another wonderful banner from the PCO banner team! “What can we give to God” who has so richly given us all things and above all has given Himself on the cross for our sins (Galatians 1:4). The banner provides a few answers to this deep question: money (tithes), praise/thanksgiving (represented by the music note!) and skills/talents/gifts/good deeds represented by what I think are sewing thread). Let’s break this down:
One of the least preached on subjects in many churches is the biblical concept of tithing. God owns everything and He has declared that we are to give Him 10% (even though He owns 100%!) as a sign of trust/reverence/dependence. It’s a way for us to remember His sovereignty and to remember to trust in Him and not in our bank accounts. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in mine house, and test me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:8-10) “Whoever offers praise, glorifies Me (God).” (Psalm 50:23) Psalm 50:23 is obviously referring to the God of the Bible. To give thanks to any “other god” (false gods) is blasphemy of course. Contrary to popular belief, all religions do not “follow the same God just under a different name”.
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20) There is power in praise! An ungrateful Christian who is “not into praise” is no Christian at all!
Another thing we can give (back) to God is to use our talents, skills and gifts (which God has given us!) for His glory. A lady named Dorcas in the New Testament is a good example of such generous giving. “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” (Acts 9:36)
We know that she used her seamstress skills for the glory of God as it is written, “All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.” (Acts 9:39) One thing that must be made clear is that we do not give to God in order to earn his merit/grace/favor. We do it as an act of worship/praise/thankfulness for all that God is, had done, is doing and will do. The primary thing we are thankful for is God’s taking the place of our sins on the cross. God does not need anything from us!
( “And He (God) is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17:25) But we have the privilege of being able to give. Many Christian songs have lyrics about coming before God “empty handed” but this is not necessarily true. One repeating verse/concept over and over again in the Bible says, “No one is to appear before the LORD empty handed.” (Exodus 34:20, Deuteronomy 16:16, Exodus 23:15, ) Each believer is to give as he is able and as God has blessed him (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 8:12, 9:7-8) We can bring thanks, praise, a contrite and thankful heart, humbleness, respect/awe for our Creator as well as use our gifts and talents for His glory. If God has provided everything in our lives, how can we then say we come before Him empty handed?! We bring our very bodies and soul as living sacrifices! The greatest thing we can “give God” is trust/faith, knowing Him to be a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:19) (Hebrews 11:6)