Spiritual Worship-Part Five

Man with hands folded on a Bible

The final act of worship that we will notice is the action of giving/contribution.  Christians should know that all of the blessings that we have are from God.  James wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).  That includes the very lives that we live.  When addressing Athenians, Paul said, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:24-28).  Since that is the case, we should understand that everything we “own” is truly God’s.  Therefore, God has a right to dictate how we should use what He has given.

          Under the Law of Moses, the Israelites were commanded to give many different things in various types of offerings.  Also, they were to give in the form of “tithing”.  This was a specified amount that was to come from their livelihoods.  By not “tithing”, the Israelites would have sinned and been disobedient to God.  Today, we do not live under the Law of Moses (Old Law), but rather we live under the Law of Christ (New Law).  That means that we do not return to the Old Law to determine how God wants us to give during this age (Col. 2:14).  Instead, we are to search and discover what God commands in this time.  It might surprise some, but nowhere in the New Law do we find authority for “tithing”.  Instead we find, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Cor. 16:1-2).  Please notice that this practice of giving was to be observed in different congregations.  That means that those in Galatia and those in Corinth had received the same command.  This is the accepted practice today.  As a part of worship on the Lord’s Day (first day of the week), Christians are to “lay by him in store”.  This is simply another way of describing that the Christians’ should set aside part of his blessings.  The actual amount set aside is left to the individual Christian, so long as it is “as God hath prospered him”.  In other words, if I have been blessed with more than another, then it would be appropriate for me to give more than another.  For instance, if a man made $100 in a week, and another man made $1000 in a week, then each should give in proportion to his own blessing.

          Furthermore, we must remember that worship is to be done “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  The proper spirit in giving is expressed explicitly.  “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity:  for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).  My giving in worship should be a predetermined amount.  I should budget my funds in such a way as to make sure that I worship God acceptably.  I should not just give God my “leftovers”.  Instead, my giving should be a true sacrifice.  Also, God wants us to develop our minds in such a way as to give cheerfully.  We should not be so tied to our money that we will not let it go.  Paul told Ephesian elders, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Perhaps if we remember how much God has given for us, then maybe we will be motivated to give appropriately (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16; 4:8-10).

          While lengthy, I truly hope that this material on Scriptural Worship is both informative and helpful to the reader.  If we worship God as He has prescribed, then we can have confidence and assurance that our worship is pleasing to Him.  Let us close with words of Jesus, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:  for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23).
~ Corey Barnette