The writer of Hebrews shows us that the priesthood of Jesus Christ is superior to the Levitical priesthood. One important way that this superiority is demonstrated is through the tithe that Abraham paid to Melchizedek after his victory over the Canaanite kings (see Ge 14:18–20). In a similar way, the writer of Hebrews identifies offerings as an important way of attributing honor and worship (or anything else for that matter) to God. The same holds true for us today. We are called to worship God persuasively with our possessions.
Theologian Mark Allan Powell talks about giving as worship.
Many people seem to think that the reason we have an offering during the Sunday morning service is because the church needs to pay its bills and also wants to do good things with the money that is collected. Your church does need to pay its bills, and it probably does do good things with the money you put in the offering plate … but that is not why we have an offering during the Sunday morning service.
The offering is an act of worship, an instance in which we are invited to give up something that we value—our money—as a sacrifice to God. In many ways, it is the high point of the liturgy. We come to church to worship God and at no other point in the service are we provided with so pure an opportunity for worship as this …
We are invited to put money in the offering plate on Sunday morning not because the church needs our money but because we want and need to give it. We have a spiritual need to worship God, and through our offerings we are able to express our love and devotion for God in a way that is simple and sincere. The motivation of the giver is what counts most, not the size of the gift or the degree of benefit to the recipient (see Mk 12:42–44). The good news of stewardship is that church offerings are not fund-raising rituals but acts of worship in which we are invited to express our heartfelt devotion to the God who is so good to us.
And author Randy Alcorn discusses the corporate nature of giving as worship.
By giving, we enter into and participate in the grace of Christ. We worship. By giving in concert with our brothers and sisters in Christ’s body, we jointly worship him, moved by each others’ example and mutual participation. In the building of the tabernacle, building of the temple, and repair of the temple, it was the corporate involvement of the community of saints in which the spirit of God moved so dramatically to produce extravagant giving. The same was true with the New Testament saints of Jerusalem in the early chapters of Acts and those in Macedonia spoken of in 2 Corinthians 8.
Think About It
How is Jesus even greater than Melchizedek and the Levitical priesthood?
Do you approach giving to God as something you want and need to do?
In what ways does giving together with other believers enhance corporate worship?
Pray About It
God, thank you for your good gifts to me, for giving me everything I need. I pray that I will worship you fully by giving back to you with a joyful and loving heart.