Bible Verse (Exodus 25:2)
Speak to the children of Israel. Let them bring me an offering; you will receive it for me from any man who will do it with a good heart.
Bible Verse (Luke 6:38)
Give and it will be given to you: a good measure will be poured into the hem of your garment, packed down, shaken together, and overflowing, for the same measure that you used will benefit you.
ACCORDING TO THE DICTIONARY;
The offering means: Voluntary donation, most often modest donation:
ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE:
In the Bible, offerings are acts of gratitude to God. It is also a support for the mission that God has entrusted to a man of God and to the local Church.
NB:There are many different ways to express our gratitude and the love we feel in our hearts. But most of the time we use words, which are usually not enough.
On your birthday, words are not enough. You are waiting to receive special gifts from your family and friends. So, the best way to express love and gratitude to someone is not only through words, but also through actions. I can say that a gift is a good way to personify an emotion or positive attitude that you feel towards a person.
The love we feel we usually express by making it visible in the form of a gift. In the same way, an offering is the personification, or embodiment, of the gratitude and love we feel in our hearts for a blessing we have received from the Lord.
An offering is in fact the concrete form of our interior feelings and our good attitudes towards the love of God. It is a way of worshiping our God for the good things He does in our daily lives.
THE TRADITION OF THE OFFERING;
Traditionally, offerings are biblical acts. God's word encourages us to bring our offerings to the Lord and not come empty-handed into the presence of the Lord. Which means that in each encounter with God we must bring an offering to God to establish the connection of our encounter with God.
Bible Verse Deuteronomy 16:16 (last paragraph)
No one shall appear before the Lord empty-handed.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TITHING AND OFFERING:
Like tithing, offerings must be brought to God as an act of obedience to God's word. The difference between tithing and offerings and the fact that tithing is primarily a moral duty, tithing and God's share in everything we receive, while offerings are expressions of our gratitude to God.
With tithing, there is a specific amount, 10% of your income. But with offerings, there is no specific amount, so you are free to give according to your income.
Bible Verse (Leviticus 27:30)
Every tithe of the land, whether of the crops of the earth, or of the fruit of the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is a thing consecrated to the Lord.
The best offering that God expects from us is first of all the gift of ourselves; which is defined as the expression of our desire to give ourselves entirely to God. It is the testimony of a life totally abandoned to the Lord. This type of offering is illustrated by the burnt offering in the bible.(Lev 1), which was burned entirely on the altar. It therefore represented the symbol of a life totally devoted and dedicated to the Lord JESUS CHRIST.
Biblical Verse Romans 12:1
I exhort you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which will be your reasonable worship.
OFFERINGS IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT:
The offering is presented to us in the Old Testament in the form of a sacrifice we make to God, and in the New Testament as an act of love and thanksgiving to our Lord.
In the Bible, the wrath of God, provoked by human sin, is also resolved by a sacrifice or offering. God therefore provided, through sacrifice, to reconcile men to himself.
The first mention of the word "offering" in the Bible dates back to the days of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:3), and these sacrifices were made to honor God and also to give thanks to God for the production of their product .
Under The Old Covenant, There Are 5 Types Of Offerings:
1) The offering of the first-fruits, Deuteronomy 26-1-16 ; Proverbs 3:9
2) The tithe offering, Leviticus 27-30-32
3) The sacrificial offering, Genesis 22-1-19
4) The offering for the advancement of God's work, Exodus 35-4-29
5) The culpability offering, Leviticus 5-1-13
Under The New Alliance:
Certain offerings mentioned in the Old Testament are no longer necessary for Christians, because Christ's sacrifice was perfect to reconcile us with God.
Furthermore, we should never bring an offering to the Lord to seek His favor or love. But we give because God gave first and so through our giving or offering we copy the character of God which is the character of the Giver because God is the greatest giver.
We must know that our gifts and offerings will not win the sympathy or love of God. It is only through the atoning offering of Christ on the cross that we can be accepted into the presence of God. In return, our offering should always be a response of our gratitude or recognition of what God is doing in our lives.
HONOR GOD WITH OUR OFFERINGS:
God is the Supreme Lord and we show him respect and honor through our offerings. The wise men identified Jesus as the King of kings and gave him gifts in tribute as the King of kings.
Bible Verse (Malachi 1:8)
When you offer a blind beast as a sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you offer one that is lame or crippled, is that not bad? So offer it to your governor! Will he receive you well, will he welcome you? Says the LORD of hosts.
Bible verse: Matt. 2:1-11; Isaiah 18:7.
The psalmist announced: “Kings will bring you gifts” (Ps. 68:30); they will recognise his lordship.
Bible Verse (Proverbs 3:9)
Honor the LORD with your wealth, and with the first-fruits of all your income.
Let us bring to God the offerings according to his honor.
GIVE WITH LOVE:
In summary, what should motivate Christians to make offerings is first of all their love for God, a selfless love, a true love.
GIVE WITH FAITH IN GOD:
God asked the Israelites to trust Him and bring their tithes and offerings (Mal. 3:8-10). Paul praised the Philippians who had faith in the Lord in giving their offerings: “I testify that they gave willingly according to their ability, even beyond their ability” (2 Cor 8:3).
The Philippians Christians gave by faith beyond their financial capacity. Thus, Paul assured them that: “my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Their gifts teach us that faith in God is so important in helping us overcome our selfishness.
The Lord does not forcing us to bring offerings to Him, but He does expect us to bring offerings to Him. God said to Moses, “Command the Israelites to bring me an offering. You will receive it for me from everyone who gives it willingly (Exodus 25:2) (Ezra 1:6).
Paul says of the Philippians that they “gave willingly.”
(2 Cor. 8:3), Sense of their own will; That is to say voluntarily.
Giving must come from the heart, because that is where the decision is made: “Let each one give as he has decided in his heart” (2 Cor. 9:7). Paul then explains what he means: “Without regret or constraint, for God loves a cheerful giver.
GIVE WITH PEACE OF MIND:
According to the Bible, the offering is also supposed to be an act of peace and reconciliation; Jesus said clearly: “If then you bring your gift to the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar and go and be reconciled to your brother first. , Then come and present your offering. (Matt. 5:23,24).
GIVE WITH DISCRETION:
Bible Verse (Matthew 6:3-4)
But as for you, when you give a gift, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be done in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will himself reward you openly.
GIVE SPONTANEOUSLY AND SYSTEMATICALLY
God does not ask us for more than we can. And the Church must also take this into account to avoid pressuring members to give beyond their abilities. This is why, as a child of God and a member of a local church, we are supposed to plan our offerings based on our income.
This helps us avoid having the offering controlled by our emotions or feelings, but rather by a decision coming from the resolve of our heart to give the Lord a certain amount based on our income (Deut. 16:17).
Bible Verse (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Let each give as he has decided in his heart, without regret or constraint, For God loves those who give with joy.
Paul says we should give according to our means;
(2 Cor. 8:11). It must be remembered that in the Old Testament, offerings were classified according to the economic situation of the people. A rich man was expected to bring a young bull, and others, depending on their financial situation, might bring a sheep, a goat, or even a bird for the poor (Lev. 1:3, 10,14).
COLLECTION AND MANAGEMENT OF OFFERINGS
Regarding the collection and management of offerings in Israel, only the Levites collected the offerings and were also responsible for ensuring that all offerings met God's purpose.
And in this day, no offering should be given to anyone who simply claims to be a servant of God and works outside of the local church of Christ. Because the offerings belong to the Lord, as the Bible declares in (Mal. 3:10). and The official place to bring them is the Temple of God or the local Church of Christ where people gather to worship the Lord.