The Motivation for Giving
The motivation for giving comes through gratitude to God for what He has done for the sinner. If we were to number all the ways God has blessed us from our salvation to everyday provisions, we could never repay God for His kindness. This truth is outlined in many places in the Bible. The essence of giving is an act of worship founded upon God’s benevolence to His people. In both the Old and New Testaments, we see this pattern played out in the lives of God’s people.
All through ancient history, worshippers have given to their deity or deities. This religious expression came in diverse forms: animal sacrifice, fruit and grain offerings, liquids poured out, human sacrifice, and a host of others items. These acts were always done in order to appease or ensure blessing from their deities. The contrast is clear in both the Old and New Testaments. The sacrifices in the Bible are always motivated through what God has done. We do not have the space to outline the types of sacrifices the Old Testament people were to give to God, but here are just a few: gifts, slaughter, whole burnt offering, peace offering, sin offering, contribution, and tenths. These sacrifices were to be given to God by the Israelites as a means of worship for all God had done for them. For example, the Passover meal and the Feast of Unleavened bread are sacrifices established by God so the nation of Israel would remember what God did for them. These ceremonial responses to God’s kindness were to be practiced so they would not forget God’s kindness.
If we fast forward to the New Testament, we find Jesus as the true Passover Lamb. His life, death, burial, and resurrection are the pinnacles of our salvation. Just as Old Testament worshippers, we are called to worship God for what He has accomplished for us. The New Testament gives us new forms of worship rooted in what Old Testament worship pointed us to, and that is an ultimate Redeemer. What remains the same is the heart of worship which is gratitude. Our singing, preaching, communion, baptism, giving, and living a life to the glory of God are all fueled by thankfulness. God has always intended our worship to be marked by gratitude. It is our duty as believers to know what God has truly done for us in our salvation so that our worship to God will be motivated out of a humble and grateful heart.