Ezra 2:69 – According to their ability they gave. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – It really is true that to those who have been given much (talent, wealth, etc.), much is required.
My Advice – Do not judge what you give to the Lord by its quantity. Smaller quantities given are more of a sacrifice for those who have less to give in the first place. The gift is measured by the sacrifice not by the amount.
Deuteronomy 16:17 – No man should appear before the Lord empty-handed. Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord has blessed you. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We all have an obligation to give back to the Lord from what He has blessed us with. We should not do this grudgingly, because all we have is from Him to begin with.
My Advice – Always remember where your success and prosperity is from, and give back to God. Be generous because He has been generous to you.
Numbers 18:29 – You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest of everything given to you. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We tend to give God the leftovers and the hand-me-downs. We give to God after we’ve provided for ourselves, rather than giving to Him first. We do not give Him our best. We keep that for ourselves. God deserves better because He has given us everything that we have.
My Advice – God has blessed you with talent, intelligence and success. These will most likely result in material blessings as well. Never ever forget how these things came to be. Give to God from your first and best (talents and treasures). You will never be sorry and as strange as it may sound, you will never find that you gave away something you needed. God will continue to provide.
Exodus 35:21 – And everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the Lord. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We should give willingly as we are moved by God to do so. Sometimes we are moved but we give grudgingly or guiltily. Or we give when God is not moving us to give. Both need to be present.
My Advice – Be careful of the cause that you give your time, talent and money to. It may not be a cause that God is calling you to. But when He does call you, make sure you give willingly. Otherwise it is an empty and worthless gesture.
Exodus 34:26 – “Bring the best of the first-fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Too many times God gets the leftovers. Rarely does He get best of the first. We make sure our needs are met then we give from what is left, if we give anything at all.
My Advice – There will be times that it seems you do not have enough to give God and still meet your needs. This may be time, money or something else. These will be the times that test your faith the most. Give to God your best and first anyway. He’ll take care of making sure your needs are met. You will find that there is time and money left for the really important things after all.