Why Give Free- will Offerings?
a.) From Exodus 25:8 it is clear that one of the purposes of an offering is so that the sanctuary or the house of God may be built. Offerings are thus for the purpose of meeting the needs that arise at the altar where God is served and can be used for any legitimate church expense.
b.) Offerings as an act of worship
Offerings as an act of worship are our way of appreciating God for who He is. They can be used as a thanks-giving offering when a person who has been blessed, delivered or protected, may want to come and give thanks to God for what He was done. Paul indicates this aspect of worship within an offering when he reflects on an offering he had received from the Philippians. He describes their gift as a sweet, smelling sacrifice that is
well pleasing to God. It paints the word picture of the offering at the altar whose sweet smell would rise into the presence of God, and if a sweet fragrance was perceived, the offering was accepted. “[Philippians 4:18-19]
c.) An offering acknowledges God as the source of total supply and blessing in our lives. It is a way of giving thanks to God just as David years ago would pray, “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” [I Chronicles 29:13-14]
What a powerful prayer and a powerful truth! “Of thine own have we given Thee.” It’s an acknowledgement that we are just stewards over the resources of the earth but God is the owner. So we take out of our stewardship and give an offering as a way of acknowledging His right to ownership and title to all that we have.
d.) Freewill offerings are seed that we sow for a harvest. The Bible clearly teaches that we give an offering with an expectation of a harvest. Many
believers struggle with the concept of giving with an expectation to get. However they have no problem with a farmer who sows seed with an expectation of a harvest. They would consider an investor who invests with no thought of return as a foolish investor, but fail to see the folly in their view of giving without expecting to receive. The Scriptures clearly teach that God gave His son with an expectation of receiving a harvest of souls. John 3:16. We cannot be more spiritual than God. God expects a harvest. Even when he gives a gift or calling, he expects a harvest – that is why He will hold us accountable for the way we have used the gifting or the calling.
Luke 6:38 clearly shows that when we give, we can expect to receive a harvest multiplied, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 while talking about offerings clearly indicates that the measure of our giving determines the measure of our harvest. This points to a clear expectation to receive.
This Scripture clearly shows that free will offerings should be given without any manipulation from the one taking the offering. As a matter of practice if I am in a service and I feel that undue pressure is been put on people to give, I refrain from giving in that service. A ploy that some use which I find quite humorous is when preachers ask those who do not have to raise hands and get money from those who have for them to sow seed.. Surely God knows who the actual giver is and he blesses that one. To me this is just a manipulation tactic to increase the offering. It manipulates those who have already given to give again indirectly through those who do not have. If someone does not have they should ask of God because the Bible says that God gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Believe God for seed to sow.
e.) From John 3:16 we learn that it was out of love that God gave his only begotten son. It can be concluded that it was love that was the source of God’s indescribable gift. Therefore giving can be viewed as an expression of love. We therefore give offerings as an expression of our love and commitment to God. This is critical because money is one of the greatest rivals against God for man’s affections. When one
gives an offering he is acknowledging that he loves God more than money. It is an anti-dote against greed. Matt 6:24 clearly teaches that one cannot love and serve both God and money. My giving an offering is a clear demonstration that money does not control me but rather I control it and direct it for godly purposes. Giving an offering is therefore a declaration that God has prior claim in my life above the claim of material wealth. A generous giver is rarely plagued by the love of money because the love of God has first place.
It is therefore clear that giving offerings is multi-purpose: as an act of worship, to fund the church, as a seed for a harvest, as an acknowledgement of our stewardship over resources and as an expression of our love to God.