Bring A Gift


Each of you must bring a gift. Give to the LORD your God, just as He has given to you.

~Deuteronomy 16:17, NIRV


JOY doesn’t simply happen to us. We have to choose JOY and keep on choosing it everyday.

~Henri Nouwen

Naomi and Ruth had the same circumstances but totally different attitudes. It is not your circumstances that dictate your attitude, it is your will. Naomi choose to be bitter and Ruth choose to be happy. Moses instituted three celebrations or festivals for the Israelites: The Passover {Spring}, the Feast of Weeks {Summer} and the Feast of Booths {Fall}. He also gave them instructions for observing these special occasions. I was especially taken by his instructions for the Feast of Weeks and Booths:

  1. Had to be observed in one particular place which means the people had to congregate and do it together, no Lone Ranger stuff at the lake.
  2. Every Jewish male was to attend the Festivals.
  3. Every Jewish male was to bring a gift: “None of your men should appear in front of the LORD without bringing something with him.” {Deut. 16:16}
  4. They were to celebrate the festival with JOY. Everyone was to be joyful: the children, the women, the widows, orphans and servants.

We were still in the old building down town Danville when I was preaching the above text and I mentioned in my sermon that it was impossible for the Israelites to worship without an offering. Their worship was built around the sacrifice which did not have to be a bull or lamb. The poor were allowed to substitute doves which is what Mary and Joseph offered at Jesus purification. My good friend Joe Eaton was bringing his dad with him to the early service and he took offense to what I said. He never came back Of course. I was disturbed because he totally misunderstood. Joe understood but his dad didn’t. His father was thinking about one thing, money! He heard me say, you cannot worship unless you bring money but that is not what I said. There are many things you can give God this Sunday other than money:


According to Moses, it was a sin to come to the festival of BOOTHS or WEEKS with a long face. If you doubt my word, study Deuteronomy 16 for yourself. I dare you! Unfortunately for us, we are too easily offended by the subject of giving but there is no real worship a part from giving. God has given to us and we certainly cannot express thanksgiving, praise and joy to HIM without giving back to HIM. Paul said in Romans 8:32, God did not spare his own Son. He gave Him up for us ALL. Then won’t he also freely give us everything else {heaven}? In light of those two gifts, one past and one future, how can we not give HIM an offering of thanksgiving and joy?

  • LORD willing, this blog is coming from Covington, La. where we spent the night. We will be crossing the 24 mile Pontchartrain Lake bridge in a few minutes. It is the longest bridge in the U.S. and in the very middle {8 of 24 miles}, you cannot see land in either direction.
  • We are here. Checked into our hotel around 11:15. I am as wide awake as a hoot owl so I am going to do my bible study before I retire. Rooms are great. Thank you Sir Anthony.

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