It’s usually this time of the year when I hope to be in a position to consider something. And what is this time of the year? Well it is tax time, and so I hope to be getting a tax refund – and I stress the word ‘hope’!
Well by the time I write this, I should know whether I owe the Australian Taxation Office some money, or they owe me, as I should have done my Tax Return by now – yes, I like to get in early, and that’s because I usually do get a refund. And what is it that I hope to be in a position to consider? It is something that a few years ago I was challenged with: God calls it a thank offering. You see, when reading the Scriptures, not only do you find God’s people at least giving a tenth of their income back to the Lord, but you also find God’s people giving of their income in two other areas: in the area of gifts to help the needy (including needy churches, such as in 2 Corinthians 8-9) as well as simply a straight-out thank offering to the Lord.
And so, rather than just see a Tax Refund cheque as a further source of income that I believe one should at least tithe (give a tenth), I also see it as an opportunity to consider how much of it could be given back to Lord as a specific thank offering. And so for Sue and me, over and above our regular weekly giving and also over and above the giving of a financial gift for a particular person’s need or churches’ need, we also at various times consider giving a thank offering. After all, if God’s people of old gave thank offerings, how much more should God’s people of today who have experienced his amazing love for them in the sending and giving of his Son Jesus.
Have you ever considered giving a thank offering to our Lord, in not just expressing that the Lord is your God, but also in expressing your thanks for everything he has done for you, is doing for you – maybe has just done for you – and will continue to do for you? Have you recently been given some money, or are feeling convicted in this area, like I have been, and therefore need to respond? Although there’s a great need at the moment in the life here at TGS (The Good Shepherd) for a huge improvement in our finances, may it not be the only factor prompting a financial gift to help in the need of God’s church here. May it be a heartfelt desire to show thanks, thanks to the one who not only deserves our all, but gave his all, so that we can ultimately enjoy his all.
September 20, 2020
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