“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offering and sacrifice, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
The position of the person quoting the scripture was that obedience is more important and valued by God than cold rituals or the blind observances created by men. The exact quote was,
“So, I urge all my brethren to tune into God’s voice and obey and quit worrying about the rituals that we think we are supposed to do, and that we are being told to do. Start listening and obeying…”
My response to this point is, “I agree.” Obedience is more impressive to God than any ritual, but when did biblical giving become a ritual?
A couple of scriptures will suffice:
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10)
Tithing is not a ritual thought up by the prophet Malachi. Tithing is a direct challenge by God to the prophet promising blessings that outweigh any sacrifice we may offer. You can never out give God.
Here’s another one:
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 25:35)
A giving heart reflects the heart of God:
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16a)
A selfish and stingy heart is not one that is close to God’s heart. Giving is not really a matter of sacrifice or obedience as much as it is a matter of what kind of heart you have.
I am grateful today and praise God for the heart of Grace Baptist Church. When I wrote the email to you about bringing your offerings to church to help close the financial gap, many of you have responded not out of obedience to sacrifice. You have responded out of your heart. Our weekly budget calls for general offerings in the amount of $3,940.98. In the last two Sundays, giving has been $5,236 on Sunday, June 3rd. This past Sunday, June 10th, the general offering was $8,955. This means that your generosity has reduced our deficit by $6,309.04 cutting the shortfall from $16,571 to $10,262. The Bible says:
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
May giving of tithes and offerings at Grace always be that way. God is never as impressed with sacrificial giving or even with obedient giving as He is with cheerful giving from the heart. When it comes to giving, check your heart and God will show you what you He wants you to do.