Giving As An Act Of Worship


(This blog is part of a series.  See my blog entitled "Worship Formation" posted on August 31, 2012 for the introduction to the series)

Almighty God, being entirely self-sufficient, requires no gift from humanity to sustain him in any way.  He is not “served by human hands, as if he needed anything.”[1]  God is pleased, however, when we exhibit the spirit of generosity.

Throughout Scripture we see the act of giving as a form of worship:
She opens the jar and pours the perfume on Jesus’ feet.  She is criticized for “wasting” this expensive perfume, but Jesus sees her gift as act of worship (Matthew 26:6-13).

As an act of obedience filled with affection and devotion, motivated by the love of Jesus, each Christian must contribute to the church.  The worshiper must acknowledge that they are but a manager of great blessings that God has given them to oversee, contributing generously and cheerfully all the while understanding that they are the recipient of more than they could ever repay.

Yet giving encompasses more than just financial resources.  Worship discloses the meaning of life as the act of giving up self in order to do the will of God for others.

In Romans 15:16, it is clear that Paul sees his missionary work among the Gentiles as an act of worship through giving.  He considers his work to be a priestly service of offering up the people as an acceptable sacrifice to God as seen earlier in his writings:
          I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a
          living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be
          conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may
          prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(Romans 12:1-3)

It is within these forms of giving which the disciple of Jesus experiences a renewed and transformed life, becoming as the very nature of Christ, becoming more like Jesus, whom Himself gave His life as an act of worship to the Father.

[1] Acts 17:25