“Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you… Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.” “They gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints.” “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Deuteronomy 16:10,17; 2 Corinthians 8:3-4; Luke 6:38
Regulated celebrations were God’s way of reminding His people He was not only their God, to whom honor was due, but Provider and Giver of all good gifts, to whom thanks was due. Glad tributes to Him and generous giving to others stem from hearts that acknowledge His as Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign. (1 Corinthians 4:7; James 1:17)
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.“ Psalm 103:1-10
The Lord has blessed His people with a divine measure of benefits, be they mercies and pardon, material means, or vigor of days. Recent celebrations of 90 years of life; assurance of salvation at age 97; a first birthday; 69, and 40, years of marriage; weddings, graduations, and chemo rounds, are cause to think on the value of our time, our every breath. Do we offer back the days and years according to the blessing of their being entrusted to us? Does all our being resound with freewill tribute of “Bless the Lord, O my soul”?
When God entrusts to us insights, ideas, and solutions, how and where are we contributing them? How do we handle means, and opportunities to serve? Do I hoard my cache of goods, wisdom, energy, because I view all as mine to control, or share my bounty out of joyful delight to spread its sweetness? Would I beg God for the favor of participating in His kingdom work, and offer my expertises and my calendar to do so? Where am I seeking opportunities to take part in the relief of the needy, counsel to the confused, comfort to the hurting, hope to the overwhelmed?
Father, according to the blessings You have lavished on me, so let me live and give. Steer my desire and my path to the ways You would have me bless You, and your saints.