13.2.4 Sacrifice and blessing

It pleases God when we bring Him our offerings with the proper attitude, and He also associates His blessing with this. "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" (2 Corinthians 9: 6-8). From these words we can derive that our offerings will not always result in a tangible material blessing. Faith allows us to recognise that the sacrifices which are brought out of a pure heart attract blessing even if this blessing often remains hidden from our perception.

In the divine services, the officiant prays for God's blessing upon all those who bring offerings, as well as on that which they have offered. God not only blesses material offerings, but also offerings of time, gifts, and abilities brought for Him and His work, including the renunciation of personal advantage. The blessing of God can be experienced in earthly matters, but it is primarily of a spiritual nature. This includes the imparting of divine gifts of salvation out of the merit of Christ (Ephesians 1: 3-7).

SUMMARY

Offerings and sacrifices bring to expression worship, gratitude, devotion, and submission to God. (13.2)

No other sacrifice can be compared with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Jesus' willingness to sacrifice is an example that calls believers to follow Him. (13.2.2)

Willingness to sacrifice springs forth from love. (13.2.3)

Believers also express their gratitude and love for God and His work in concrete gifts, be it in monetary form or in the form of natural produce. (13.2.3)

The willingness to offer and sacrifice is also expressed in congregational life when brethren in faith dedicate a substantial amount of their leisure time, energy, and talents into the service of God and the congregation without compensation. (13.2.3)

The blessing associated with offering can indeed be experienced in earthly matters, but it is primarily of a spiritual nature. (13.2.4)

See also