According to Giving USA, a report compiled annually by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel, Americans gave an estimated $316.23 billion to their favorite causes in 2012.
The greatest portion of charitable giving was given by individuals or household donors, followed by foundations and corporate donations. Gregg Carlson, chair of the Giving USA Foundation, which publishes Giving USA, said, “Most households feel pressured at every economic corner, but the longstanding social contract between Americans and the nonprofits they believe in remains resilient and intact; many see giving as a core budget item.”
The spirit of giving does not end there. According to Gallup.com., “Americans, on average, expect to spend $786 on Christmas gifts this year, which is similar to their holiday spending estimates in each of the past two years. Yes, giving is big business in America and in other parts of the world. Being such a wonderful way to show appreciation for family and friends throughout the year, I started wondering if there is anything we humans could give to God that would make Him happy?
Have you ever asked yourself, “What can I give to God for all He has done for me and my family?” Yes, I am mindful of Paul’s words at Acts 17:24-25, “The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He does not live in buildings made by hands. No one needs to care for Him as if He needed anything. He is the One who gives life and breath and everything to everyone.” — New Life Version.
It is understood that God does not need anything. He is self-sustaining, able to become whatever He pleases, being almighty. We cannot raise or lower His status as the Most High over all the earth, as Psalms 83:18 describes Him. We understand that.
And yet, we are invited by an Angel in heaven to give something to God. At Revelation 14:6-7, the apostle John wrote, “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people — saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’” — New King James Version.
Glory, worship and a healthy “fear” of displeasing God — these are things we can give to Him. Although He deserves these things and so much more, He does not force anyone to give Him anything. But being a God of love and a Father to countless living things in heaven and on earth, you can imagine what joy it must bring when His creations choose to worship Him in a way that pleases Him.
Jesus said at John 4:23, “But the time is coming — indeed it’s here now — when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” — New Living Translation. If we say we worship God, do we promote His truth and live in harmony with that truth to the best of our ability? Do we speak truth, even when it is unpopular — relying on the holy spirit as a helper instead of ourselves? That is the kind of worshippers God is looking for.
According to James 1:27, “The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation and to keep oneself without spot from the world.” — New World Translation.
When we fail to live up to God’s perfect standards, thereby sinning, He does not ask much. God does not need our money or material possessions. As David said at Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” — New Living Translation.
Remember, as 1Thessalonians 2:4 says, “We aren’t trying to please people, but we are trying to please God, who continues to examine our hearts.” — Common English Bible.
In fact, the more we give the proper fear, glory and worship to God, the more we get back. As He told the Israelites in Isaiah 48:17, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you.” — New International Version.
How many people in our life are capable of teaching us what is best? They may try, with good intentions, but they cannot know what is always best for us. God knows. To have the wisdom and experience of the Almighty at our disposal, along with His limitless help, we can be sure that “He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6. — New International Version.
As imperfect beings we can never give to God what He fully deserves. He knows this better than we do. But His love for us is so surpassing, so incomprehensible, that He accepts whatever we can give Him through Christ, as long as it is our best — our whole-hearted, whole-souled best. We see this clearly at Luke 21:1-4.
If there is more happiness in giving, than receiving, as Acts 20:35 says, God must be the happiest person in the Universe, for He gives to all. We can join in His joy by giving Him the glory, fear and worship He deserves, as well as by happily giving to others. For, indeed, God loves a cheerful giver!