Volume. XXIV, No. 39
Sunday, 28 March 2010


Worship - Part 5


Having discussed manners and objects of worship, I now need to talk about the third out of the eleven guidelines of worship, based on the occurrences of the word, worship, in the Bible. Though it is a biblical topic, I feel it is difficult to talk about offering. It is because apart from its spiritual meaning and implication, it is after all talking about finance. There have been lots of negative stories about church offerings. I have read stories about ministers accused of embezzling church funds. Some churches use offering to fund church lotteries. Some churches have built multimillion-dollar mega businesses through offering. TV evangelists have often and quite frequently begged for money with all kinds of reasons and excuses. Thus, talking about church offering has given bad feelings to the people who have to hear it. Despite all these bad examples and stories related to church offering, I cannot but talk about it because it is an important part of biblical worship. It is my duty to teach you from the whole counsel of God, not just a part of it.

 
Third, worship includes offering to God.
 
Offering is a part of worship. Let me give you some Biblical examples and discuss various aspects of offerings. Deuteronomy 26:10, “And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God.” Offering is an act that recognizes God as the giver of all. 1 Chronicles 16:29 says, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” [cf. 1 Chron. 29:20]. Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” The importance of offering is found in its frequent occurrences in the Bible.
 
Firstly, let me begin with the kinds of offering: (1) burnt offering (Leviticus 1:4, 7); (2) drink offering (Leviticus 23:13, 18); (3) free will offering Deuteronomy 22:17-25; 16:10; 23:23); (4) heave offering (Leviticus 10:14; Numbers 5:9); (5) meat offering (Leviticus 2); (6) peace offering (Leviticus 7:11-15); (7) sin offering (Leviticus 4); (8) thanksgiving offering (Leviticus 7:11-15; 22:29); (9) trespass offering (Leviticus 5); (10) voluntary (vow) offering (Leviticus 7:16-17; 22:17-25); (11) wave offering (Leviticus 7:29-34; 8:25-29), and (12) tithing (Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 14:22; 26:12; 27:30-34; 2 Chronicles 31:5-12). If I analyze each and every one of them, I am sure that I’ll get more items added to the list.
 
Secondly, the meticulous nature of each offering/sacrifice should not be ignored. For example, during the Old Testament era, (1) all animal sacrifices had to be eight days old or more (Leviticus 22:27); (2) sometimes offerings sacrificed had to be salted (Leviticus 2:13), and accompanied with leaven (Leviticus 7:13) or without leaven (Exodus 23:18; 34:25; Leviticus 2:4, 11); or (3) sometimes they were accompanied with other sacrifices (Numbers 15:3-16). These detailed prescriptions for offerings/sacrifices indicate that God cares about the kinds and ways of offerings.
 
Thirdly, God prescribed how to dispose of the sacrifices: (1) Sometimes the priests had to eat them (Leviticus 7:1-18); (2) Sometimes parts of them were given to the priests’ families (Leviticus 10:14; Numbers 5:9); (3) sometimes the sacrifices had to be eaten in the holy place (Leviticus 10:13; Numbers 18:9-10); or (4) sometimes they were given to the priests (Leviticus 7:31, 34; 8:29; Nehemiah 10:38; Numbers 18:21).
 
Fourthly, God also prescribed the ways to offer sacrifices (Leviticus 1-7). I must say that all these biblical materials are not exhaustive at all. These are only a fragment of vast teaching materials about offerings and sacrifices from the Bible. If there is any point I need to bring to your attention, it is that offerings are not to be given casually. Even offerings had to be brought to God’s presence with His ways and His terms.
 
There are also various reasons and manners to present our offerings to the Lord. (1) Offerings are also the means God uses to bless His people (Malachi 3:8, 10). Such thought will remove the wrong notion of offering that it is only a sacrifice on our part. God uses our devotion to Him as a means to meet our needs. Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (2) God loves the willing givers (Exodus 35:22). It is because the heart is always before the offering. 2 Corinthians 8:12, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” (3) Cheerful givers please the Lord (2 Corinthians 9:7). (4) Giving is according to the giver’s abilities (2 Corinthians 8:12). (5) People gave in order to build the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 35:22) or the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 2:68-69). Likewise, we give for the ministry of the church not only for building projects but also for home and foreign missions. (6) The priests and Levites lived with the tithes from the congregation (Numbers 18:26; 1 Corinthians 9:13-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18). It teaches us that offerings are to be used to support the ministers and Church workers. (7) Offerings are also given to help the poor and the suffering (Leviticus 19:9-10; Mark 12:41-44; Matthew 6:1-4). The Corinthian believers gave despite their poverty (2 Corinthians 8:2). (8) There has to be heart preparations before offering (1 Corinthians 16:2). (9) Offering is one of the means with which we may honour the Lord. Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” (10) To give offering is a believers’ duty. Luke 11:42 (cf. Matthew 23:23; Luke 18:12), “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (11) Offering without faith is meaningless (Psalm 50:7-12). Withholding offering because of money is sinful. 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Here I must caution you that our duty to God does not cancel our duty towards man. For example, neglecting our parents with the pretext that we are giving all we have to God. Jesus warned against such practice in Mark 7:9-13, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” Let us remember that offering is not simply giving. But it is an expression of our faith and a part of our worship. God requires His people to bring offerings to Him according to the ways and manners He had prescribed.
 
Lovingly,
 
Pastor Ki
(New Life B-P Church, London)
 
22nd Family Bible Camp
Announcements
 
1. All worshippers are encouraged to attend the Family Bible Camp next weekend. Please see Dn David Yeo or Bro Colin Gan for details.
2. Campsite Address: Nunyara Conference Centre, 5 Burnell Drive, Belair SA 5052.
3. Campers requiring transport to campsite on Good Friday please assemble at The Stone Mansion by 8:30 am latest.
4. Things to bring for camp: Bible, stationery, bed linen, sleeping bags (if desired), towel, toiletries & suitable attire, including warm clothing.
5. On Easter Sunday 4 April, campers are to shift to The Stone Mansion for the Resurrection Worship Service and for the rest of the camp programme.
 

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Raymond Ang. Team Leader: Sis Yvone Kam & campers.Next Lord’s Day Kitchen Roster:

*Sunday School teachers & assistants are requested to attend the workshop this evening. Please be punctual.

*Chilean Earthquake: Monetary donations to our Chilean B-P Churches & brethren will be greatly appreciated.

*Reminder: Please come to the Corporate Prayer Meeting.

*Please note: Daylight savings ends on Sunday, 4 Apr.

*RPGs & Daily Manna for Apr - Jun QTR available now. Please take a copy.

*Camp Announcements: please refer to Page 3.

*Hope Bookshop shifted to Room 8 upstairs. Opening hours: Sunday, 12:30-1:30pm. Enquiries to Sis Sarah Carpenter.

 

Looking Ahead

*Gospel Sunday at 7:30pm on 25th April, 2010.

*24th Anniversary Thanksgiving on 20 June 2010.

*Vacation Bible School, 12-16 July 2010.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bro Simon & Sis Demelza Ting & Hannah (Taiwan); Bro Raymond Chia & Mrs Chia (Adl); & others who have travelled.

2. Church activities - over the past week.

3. Brethren who came for Working Bee yesterday.

4. Daily mercies, protection & guidance.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr & Mrs S H Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao, Len & Richard Pearson, Moses Tan, Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.

2. Radio & chemotherapy treatments - Bro Winston Selvanayagam.

3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Luke Kim & ministry (Veal Renh); Rev David Koo & ministry, Life University; Pr Zhang & ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro John & Sis Lydia Saray (Kampot).

4. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam.

5. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim (Melb).

6. IBPFM (USA) - missionaries & funds.

7. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond). For guidance, wisdom and protection.

8. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

9. God’s guidance & help: Bro Richard Tee (Melb) & Sis Mag Yu (S’pore).

10. God’s comfort - All those in grief.

11. Study in Sydney: Bro Joshua Chung.

12. Journey mercies: Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser (Adl), Bro Simon & Sis Demelza Ting & Hannah (Taiwan/S’pore); & Sis Purdee Yeo (Perth).

13. Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung (Mindanao).

14. Family Bible Camp at Easter: Rev & Mrs Tracy Minnick, organisers, & participants.

15. Session Election in August.

16. God’s protection & guidance: Bros Yick Ho Lam & Rexson Tse doing their medical electives in Kopiam (PNG).

17. Job - Sisters Xiandrea Cai, Marion Chan, Judy Li, Corinne Teng.

18. Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Josephine Wong & Bernadette Ng.

19. Chilean earthquake: Survivals & those in grief. Sister B-P Churches & brethren to trust God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063