Make vows to the Lord your God, and pay them; let all who are around Him bring presents to Him who ought to be feared. Psalm 76:11
Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. Psalm 96:8
In ancient times, it was a necessary custom for people to approach persons of royalty bearing something—a gift—in their hands. People arrived with gold, silver, cattle, poultry, gems, slaves, or the produce of their land to give to the king. Coming before the throne empty-handed was simply unheard of. The king was always worthy of honor.
This should make us ask: When we approach God, the King of all kings, do we bring Him a gift? Although He is God and pretty much owns all the cattle in this world and all the stars in the sky, I believe there are precious gifts we can offer to Him.
These two verses in Hebrews should make us reflect on what we can offer to God:
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Heb. 13:15-16
The sacrifice of praise. Thanksgiving. Doing good. Sharing. We can start with these four sacrifices as gifts to our God!
Let us express to God how good He is and what wonderful things He has done for us. Who is He? What has He done in the past and what has He been doing in the present that deserves exaltation? Sometimes, when we are going through tough times, it becomes hard to open our mouth to praise Him. The more that we must! We can sing of God and to God. We can praise Him in dance. We can even write a love letter to God or write our own Psalm where He is exalted. If we are creatively gifted in the arts, we can also paint or draw something that praises our God. We can offer these to Him and say, “Lord, my heart praises you! Even in tough times, I choose to praise you!” This becomes our sacrifice of praise.
Have we intentionally stopped to think of all the times God has pulled through for us? The times He provided for us? The times He dried our tears? The times He revealed Himself to us? We can make a list of all these beautiful things and spend time with the Lord, thanking Him. We can rest in His presence and enjoy the fact that we have a God who is unparalleled in His power and love toward us.
- Doing Good
One way God’s love is seen in us is through our acts of goodness. We can ask God, “Lord, what good thing can I do to share Your love and put a smile on Your face? Our God is a good God, and we can surely become conduits of His goodness to those around us. We can call a friend in need, help a neighbor with a task, drive for someone who needs to be driven… the list is actually endless! We can also use ministry as a platform for service, but let’s not lose sight of the King as we move His Kingdom forward. There are so many ways to do good!
We can make our Father smile when we give generously to Him and to others. Yes, there is the tithe to give Him—10% of our income— but after the tithe, what’s next? Do we stop our giving after the tithe? We can still use our money as a gift unto the Lord. We can ask Him where He wants us to sow. Also, giving is not always in the form of money. Giving food and clothes to those in need pleases the heart of our Father in Heaven. Remember: what we do to the least of his brethren, we do unto Him (Matt.25:37-40). God loves it when we give because He loves to give!
These are just a few examples of what we can do as gifts to our Father in Heaven. We can be creative in expressing our praise and thanksgiving to Him; in doing good and in giving to God and others.! Let’s put a smile on our Father’s face by intentionally wanting to offer Him a present. He is worthy of our gifts. He is worthy of honor.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.