"Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also." (2 Corinthians 8:7)
How do you give to the Lord?
Do you just drop some money in the plate at church without much thought? Or do you just write a check to God at the first of every month and pay Him like you pay all your other bills?
You need to think about that because how you give is a matter of deep concern to God. He's particular about how offerings are given. He won't receive just any old thing however you feel like giving it.
In Malachi, for example, God refused to receive Israel's offerings. They were bringing Him their defective animals, their blind calves, and the injured ones they couldn't do anything else with--and God said it offended Him. He told them, "You don't have any reverence or honor for Me, and I'm not going to accept your offering."
That kind of thing didn't die out after the book of Malachi. Many today don't have any reverence for God at offering time. People wait for the preacher to beat them over the head until they feel so guilty they have to reach down in their pocketbooks and get some money out.
But I want you to know, that's offensive to God. In fact, He spoke directly to a friend of mine about it. The statement He made to her so impressed me, I wrote it down word for word.
"It grieves Me when the Church takes offerings," He told her. "I said to worship Me. Don't take from the people, but let them bring their gifts and worship Me. Then they will see the fruits of their giving."
If you and I want God to be pleased with our offerings, we're going to have to do what the Apostle Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians 8:7. We're going to have to learn to "excel in this grace of giving." We're going to have to quit being casual about it and to learn to give with faith and reverence in worship.
Next time the offering plate is passed, don't just drop your gift carelessly in the plate. Get serious. Determine to obey God. Worship Him with your money and be thankful. He'll do more than simply receive it, He'll open the windows of blessing for you.