After 14 years since planting the church, we’re close to own-ing a place where we can hold our fellowship meetings, train-ing, and gospel nights. And we can set up our library for you to borrow books and do research in biblical works. The Young Adult Fellowship is even looking forward to holding their camp there. What an excitement!
I feel this month is an appropriate time for the pastoral staff to share with the congregation on giving to the Lord. A right at-titude and act of giving to Lord is like a sweet aroma offering.
When God led the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land, He instructed through Moses, in the wilderness, about offering to the Lord: “When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD,…he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD….And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD” (Lev. 1:2-9).
The phrase “sweet aroma to the LORD” is like a sweet refrain, repeated several times in the teaching of various offerings. It is an anthropomorphic expression, picturing God as smelling the aroma of the burnt offering and finding it pleasing to His sight. God treats the offering pleasing and accepting not so much with the animal offered, though it’s important, but more on the attitude and act of the person who offers.
This reminds me of an incident Jesus observed in the temple in Mark 12:41-44. Jesus sat opposite the temple offering box, watching how much money people put into the box. He observed that the rich put in much. But there was a poor widow who put in two small coins, perhaps worth very little. Then Jesus called the disciples and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury (temple offering box)” (v.43). The Jesus followed with His explanation, “For they all put in out of the abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood” (v.44).
The reason that the poor widow’s “sweet aroma” offering was well pleasing to the Lord was her attitude of giving. She was not concerned with the amount she was putting into the box, neither was she concerned so much with her poverty. The poor widow came to the temple, approached the offering box with one purpose, to give what she had with her to the Lord. That was offering herself first with total dedication to God.
As we ponder and prepare ourselves to give for the building fund, may we learn to first offer ourselves to the Lord.
Giving is easier when you give yourself to the Lord.
这提醒我在《马可福音》12章41 – 44节里，耶稣在圣殿里看见的一件事情。耶稣坐在圣殿里奉献箱的旁边，看着人把多少钱放进箱里面。他看到财主放了不少的钱进去，但也有一个贫穷的寡妇只放了两个小钱，大概只有很少的价值。耶稣就叫门徒来对他们说：“我实在告诉你们，这穷寡妇投入库（教会奉献箱）里的，比众人所投的更多。”（第43节）耶稣又继续解释：“因为他们都是自己有余的，拿出来投在里头，但这寡妇是自己不足，把她一切养生的都投上了。”（第44节）