Daily Devotion Tuesday July 11, 2017
“I have no need of a bull from your stall or goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills”
Early this week, there was a trending news in Uganda on social media titled; Give Offertory in Dollars, Clergy tells Christians. The Anglican Chaplain for the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, Rev. Canon. Christine Simanya while preaching at Namugongo Martyrs Church of Uganda was quoted by a local newspaper—the Daily Monitor saying: “Some Christians have dollars and pounds earned from international conferences; instead they change the money to Shillings before bringing it to church as offertory. Bring those dollars and pounds, God needs them.” The part of this statement that raises my interest is “Bring those dollars, God needs them.”
In much of our communion services in the mainstream churches—the Anglican Church inclusive, we profess that “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.” This important Christian profession written by the Council at Nicaea in A.D 325 should be able to help all Christians understand that they are stewards, that everything they have belongs to the Lord. David proclaimed this even very clearly in one of his psalm by saying; “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). It is evident in this Psalm that we too are the Lord’s whether we regard him or not.
However, of all God’s creation, mankind has chosen to rebel against God—to live as though they don’t belong to the Lord. This rebellion started by the Fall as recorded in Genesis 3. Sin broke man’s relationship with God. In his Grace through Christ Jesus, God has sought to restore mankind to a relationship with him. We can but never get to please God in any other way other than by faith in his Son Christ Jesus. There is an attempt by mankind to please God through other means including offering him what we have without offering him ourselves. This has been the tendency among the Jews. But God reminded them that he doesn’t seek their sacrifices—he seeks them, after all, the animals and other sacrifices they sought to offer God were already his (Psalm 50:9-10).
Similarly, our offerings in whatever currencies we use for transaction—dollars, pounds or even the Uganda Shillings is not what God needs, God needs us. Many churchgoers are seeking to please God by what they give as offering or tithe. This doesn’t work. God needs you, not your dollars. When you offer yourself to him, you will realise that there is nothing that pleases him other than offering your body “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this your true and proper act of worship” (Romans 12:1). In his sermon, I Seek Not What is Yours but You, John Piper helps us to understand that God seeks us by this thought provoking questions:
How many marriages deteriorate into empty motions because husbands do not hear the silent yearnings of the wife: “I don’t want your money, I want you“? How many parents have lost their children because they failed to interpret the signs: “I don’t want your presents, Daddy, I want you“? And how many tithing churchgoers will be lost to the kingdom because the Word of God never reached their hearts: “I will seek not what is yours but you”?
God doesn’t neither seek for what we can do for him nor what we can give him, he seeks us. When we offer ourselves to God, we can “with all joy, spend and be spent out for the souls of [his] people.” Until we offer ourselves to him, we shall not see that what we have is his and we will not appreciate spending and being spend out in his ministry. When we give ourselves to God fully, we’ll; regularly, consistently, and proportionately worship him with our tithes and offerings to support the ministry of the church. Jesus did not die on the Cross so that we can offer him dollars, he offered himself for us so that we can offer ourselves to God. Rev. J
 Christine Simanya as quoted by Daily Monitor http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Give-offertory-in-dollars–clergy-tells-Christians-/688334-4007744-5b5ob6/index.html
 John Piper, accessed from http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/i-seek-not-what-is-yours-but-you
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture Quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) 2011.
Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is the founding Director of this online New Dawn Ministries. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues from the Norwegian School of Theology. Julius also is a pastor in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile of the Church of Uganda who believes that God’s timeless truth of salvation must be preached to all Nations. Help Donate here to support the New Dawn Ministries. You can also support this ministry by purchasing Julius’ popular books Triumphing Over Odds and Suffering and Pain? from Amazon. Thank you.