November 15

Proverbs 21:3, 27 3To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

27The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable– how much more so when brought with evil intent!

God doesn't need your offering in the plate, but you need to give it! Sometimes we get the idea that if we give to God or make a sacrifice that God is indebted to us. Maybe then He will overlook our sins that we refuse to forsake. The justification in our minds goes something like this: "I don't want to give up this thing that I know is wrong, so instead, I will give money to the needy." Good deeds don't nullify evil ones. They don't earn points in heaven. We are expected to do good when the opportunity arises. That is simply the right thing to do. Not to do so is evil.

God owns everything, even the things in your temporary possession. When you sacrifice of your time or money, you are merely giving into the hands of another what is God's. That is liberating for you. It helps you stay free from enslavement to the love of money. God gave it to you to meet your needs, but also so that you could give to the needy. It is more blessed to give than receive. God is the greatest giver. When we give we are like Him, if we give from pure motives.

Some would give expecting influence or favor in return. That is to sacrifice with evil intent. Giving should have no strings attached. It is simply a transfer in stewardship to those with a greater need.

God is not after your possessions. He is after your heart. He wants you to be increasingly conformed to His likeness. That includes giving from a pure heart of compassion for the needs of others, or giving when God directs. Samuel told Saul that to obey was better than sacrifice, and to listen to God than sacrificial ram's blood. If God has your heart, then your sacrifices come from pure motives.

Consider: Am I unconsciously putting strings on my gifts?