Offerings of Firstfruits and Tithes
26 "When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, 'I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.' 4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God.5 "And you shall make response before the Lord your God, 'A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror,[a] with signs and wonders. 9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.' And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. 11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.
Why do we give an offering? Some would say it's to support the work of the church, and they'd be right. Some would say that God requires it, and they'd be wrong. Others would say that it's to pay the pastor to do his job. That's a bit right and wrong at the same time.
As I read the passage above, my first question is what did they do with it? It says that the people brought their firstfruits and gave them to the priests, and the priests set the baskets down before the altar of the Lord. And then?
Scripture doesn't say, but we can know this..... if it was presented before the Lord, and the Lord is good, then whatever done with them was good.
At the same time, the Israelites didn't really need to know what happened with the offering after they gave it. Even if it just sat there and rotted away it was still a good offering. It is good, because the blessing is in the giving. The blessing is in the remembering and knowing that all good things come from the Lord. That, above all else is why you give your offering. You give it to remember and to know that ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM GOD!!!
When you are withholding your offering or when you are giving it grudgingly, you are forfeiting the very reason you give your offering in the first place. That is why in 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."
So yes, your offering goes to the work of the Lord, some goes to people in need, some goes to insurance matters, some goes to Marilyn's, Kelsey's, and my salary, some goes to mission work within our district and synod. It goes to the work of the Lord. But don't give it for that reason!
GIVE YOUR OFFERING TO REMEMBER THAT ALL GOOD THINGS, EVEN YOUR VERY BREATH, COMES FROM THE LORD!!!
Lord, help me, by my tithes and offerings, to remember that everything I have, even my very life, comes from you. Amen.
Tues- Quilters 9-2; "Christianity the First Three Centuries" 11:30-12:15; Trustees Meeting 7pm
Wed- Supper 5:30; Ash Wednesday worship 6:30; Choir practice 7:30
Thurs- Board of O and E meeting 5pm????
Fri- Set up for Steak Dinner and Auction
Sat- worship 5pm; STEAK DINNER AND AUCTION DOORS OPEN AT 5PM; SUPPER STARTS AT 6PM
Sun- Worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school 9:45; Elder's meeting noon; Youth Bible Study at 5pm
Acolyte- Wed- Gus Klaustermeier 8:30- Kalene Masters; 11- Lydia Miller
Ushers- Wed- Alan Hofeldt, Tim Linke, Rich Talbert, Don Turnure; Sun- Scott and Alex Heitgerd, Bob and Tom Linke
Altar- Wed Set up and Clean up is Terry McKenzie; Sun Set up- Cheri' Hofeldt; Clean up- Joanne Hachtel
Elders- Wed- ????? Sat- Randy Fischer; 8:30- Dave Winter; 11- Jim Rahn
Greeters- 8:30- Dave and Hope Tinnin; 11- Marv and Molly Hendershot
Lay readers- Sat- ??????; 8:30- Dawn Sherman; 11 - Jim Rahn
Sat. Pianist- Barb Dreyer
Organist- Rachel Fisher
Projectionists: Sat- ????? 8:30- Schaumberg; 11- Gus Klaustermeier
YESTERDAY'S BIBLE QUIZ: Who was Hobab?
(A funny answer and the real answer from Pat King)
We'll be looking at different rough drawings of economical ways that we can accomplish what we want to do to accommodate our growing congregation and support the future of our church! EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS MEETING!!
Unfortunately over the past several years, they have barely broken even on these dinners. The parents usually donate the desserts and even much of the other food out of their own pockets. Without that the youth would probably lose money.
It is especially important that they make money this year, as they will need all they can get to make their goal for the National Youth Gathering in new Orleans.
I want to encourage you all to attend these dinners, and, while there is no set price per person for these dinners, a generous free will offering is strongly encouraged!!
Below is the Menu for each week:
Feb. 10-- Ash Wednesday
baked potato bar
taco bar w/all the fixings
As always, thank you for your continued support of the future of Christianity!!!
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