Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Offering Meditation – The Easter Gift

He is risen!

God is good. He has given us so much in this nation – blessings and wonders abound all around us. It is said that our average lifestyle today is better than any king enjoyed two hundred years ago – the comfort and warmth of our homes, the quality and abundance of our food, and the convenience and speed with which we can travel from place to place are far superior to anything known in previous history. Each week, we take a few minutes to reflect on this, and ponder giving something back to God.

We sometimes think of our offering as a “gift”. Where does that idea come from? Is there a book, chapter, and verse to sustain this idea about gifts? Is it Acts 2:38? No, this says the gift of God is the Holy Spirit. What about Romans 6:23? Again, this says that the “gift of God is eternal life”. 2 Corinthians 9:14-15? No, this speaks of the surpassing greatness of God’s gift of grace. So where do we get the idea that we are giving God a gift?

Well, I found the book, chapter, and verse. It’s called Form 1040, Schedule A, Line 16 – “Gifts to Charity”.

This line of our tax forms implies that we have offered a gift. But can you give a gift to someone who already possesses the thing you are giving? All that we “own”, all that we possess – this is a gift from God to us. Was there ever a moment when all of this wasn’t His? In fact, though we sometimes think that God gave us outright ownership of what we have and that we are generously giving it back to Him, in reality God possesses everything.

God has a history of unselfish giving to mankind. Two-thousand years ago, Jesus Christ lived in heaven with God the Father. Yet, God chose to send him to earth as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus lived, died, and lived again in order to fulfill God’s purpose – to give us one ultimate gift. Eternal life and victory over death – a priceless present. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to report that on Form 1040?