A Bible Devotion

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Giving Can Be Worship

PHILIPPIANS 4:18 NIV 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

In the New Testament two verses speak of a fragrant offering to God. The first (Ephesians 5:2) refers to the sacrifice of Jesus. The second (Philippians 4:18) refers to giving offerings to Paul while he was in jail. The wording used in these two verses reminds us of the Old Testament offerings, especially the burnt offerings.

Obviously, Father God was pleased with Jesus' sacrifice. Because of the wording used in Philippians 4:18, we should understand that God is also very pleased with our giving, which shows our love for Him and the Gospel.

From the Old Testament we see that God was pleased with the worship He received through burnt offerings. They were called a "sweet savour" or a "pleasing aroma." But they had no human purpose or benefit. They were not used to feed people. The burnt offering was just burned. It was pure worship of God. Can you imagine taking a perfectly good animal -- which would be worth over $1,000 USD today -- and just burning it? Yet God commanded this to be done in Old Testament times, so it is evident He approved of it then and even seemingly enjoyed it.

When God asked Solomon to make a request of Him, and Solomon responded by asking for wisdom, it was the same day Solomon had already offered one thousand burnt offerings to the Lord (1 Kings 3:4-5). The value was over $1 million USD that had no purpose except to worship God. No one ate the meat. No one got any benefit out of all this killing and sacrifice except God.

Imagine you were God and were always giving, always blessing, always doing good for others. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone demonstrate by their actions how much they valued you?

Matthew 26:7-10 tells of a woman who poured an alabaster box of expensive perfume on Jesus. The disciples complained that it should have been sold for much money and given to the poor, but Jesus commended her for doing good. Then He said what she did should be told to the whole world (verse 13).

Worship means demonstrating "worth-ship," or showing how much we value someone.

Our giving to the Lord can be evidence of our love, proof of our devotion, and a sign of our commitment to the Lord.

So our giving should not always be only because of the needs of people, but because of our love for God.

SAY THIS: I will worship God with what He has given me.


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