Give back to God through your talents, offerings and spreading of the gospel
“When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the first fruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” – Deuteronomy 26:1-3
Scripture is full of people who displayed their thanks and appreciation to God in the things they did. One of those persons is a woman named Hannah.
Hannah was one of Elkanah’s two wives. She was barren and bore no children while Peninnah, the other wife, bore children for her husband. This saddened and depressed Hannah who was taunted by Peninnah.
Hannah’s misery was indeed immense. Consequently, she went into the house of the Lord to pray. Hannah fervently prayed that if God would give her a child, she would give that child back to Him. During her prayer, the priest, Eli, came in and rebuked her for being intoxicated in the house of the Lord. However, when he heard her story, he blessed her.
The Lord heard her prayer and opened her womb. She bore a son and gave him the name Samuel. She kept her promise and gave her most precious gift to the Lord.
Does your praise and thanksgiving overflow from the good you’ve had to let go? Perhaps your sacrifice was difficult.
Our God is gracious, patient, forgiving, generous and he is love. In all that God does for us, many of us do not take the time to say thank you.
The above text tells us about the Israelites whose fore-parents were wandering Aramean, constantly moving from one place to another. Their father Jacob had taken his family to Egypt at the invitation of his son Joseph.
In Egypt, Jacob’s family prospered and became a great nation. However, as they multiplied the Egyptians became afraid and enslaved them.
The burden of the slave masters was so overbearing, the children of Jacob cried out to the Lord God, the God of their fore-parents. They needed hope.
So often we only turn to God when we are in deep trouble. God suddenly becomes the only hope. Yes, he becomes the straw of hope to the perishing.
God is always ready and able to give help to his people. Even though the Israelites had ignored and forgotten the God of their forefathers, he did not ignore, nor had he forgotten them.
God sent help for his people who were desperate. He brought them out of the land of bondage and took them to a land, which was better than any they had ever seen.
But they refused to enter the land which the Lord had promised to their fore-parents They forgot God’s mercy and grace and they spat in the face of God by refusing to go into the land.
Like the children of Israel, we too look at the promised land and say, “I am afraid.” We doubt God.
As we journey during these 40 days of Lent, let us be reminded of the children of Israel’s 40 years wilderness journey. Let us remember Jesus’ 40 days wilderness experience. His experience was our experience, which we could not endure.
God has given us much more than we can ever give back. We can never repay him for the wonders that he has done for us. He has given us so much. Therefore, we should give back to God through our talents, our offerings and by spreading the good news of the gospel. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone 323-4107, E-mail [email protected], or Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.