Worship - Lesson 10
Giving as Worship
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can explain how giving can be an act of worship.
- The student can list three ways he/she will try to make giving an act of worship.
- Have Bibles for everyone.
- Have pens/pencils for all.
- Have a chalkboard or marker board available.
- Have quiz sheets ready to distribute.
We can and should make our giving to the Lord an act of worship.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (10 minutes)
- Welcome visitors, check roll, make announcements.
- Give quiz over preceding lesson.
Learning Experiences: (35 minutes)
- Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. Paul is urging the Christians in Corinth to take part in the collection he is putting together for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Q: In these verses, what does he tell them to do about the collection? (Set aside a sum of money). Q: When were they to do it? (On the first day of every week—NIV). Q: How much was each to give? Q: Why were they to do it? (So that when Paul came, the money would all be together, ready for him.) Q: Where does this suggest that they were to be setting it aside? (In a common place where all Christians would place their money. Thus, it was to be kept in what we might term the treasury of the church. If he meant just set it aside at home, then there would have to be a collection when he came.) Justin Martyr wrote about 150 AD that Christians brought offerings to the church every Sunday. This seems to have been the common practice, then, of the church.
- Read 2 Corinthians 8:19. Q: What term does Paul use here to refer to their contribution? (Offering.) Q: What do you think of when the term offering is used? (Offerings in the Old Testament such as animals or grain which were brought as a sacrifice to God.) These Old Testament offerings were also called “sacrifices” because they called on those who brought them to sacrifice something, to give up the cost of the offering, which could be quite expensive.
- When we give of our money to the Lord, then, it is to be done in the spirit of sacrifice and offering. Just as the Jews of the Old Testament thought of their offerings as something expensive and useful to be given gladly to the Lord, even so our offerings should be given to the Lord in a similar way. Think of the exuberance with which Solomon brought 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats when he dedicated the temple he had built. And think of all the additional money spent in the building of that temple. He made this offering to send a message to the Lord, just as we can send a message to Him with our offering.
- Read 2 Corinthians 8:6-12. Q: What terms does Paul use to describe their offering? (Act of grace, grace of giving, gift.) Q: What does Paul say can be measured by ones giving? (Earnestness, love, willingness.) Q: How much did Paul expect each one to give? (According to what he has.)
- Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Q: What kind of giver does God not want? (Reluctant, under compulsion.) Q: What kind of giver does God want? (Generous, cheerful, heartfelt.) Q: What kind of confession does Paul say giving is? (Confession of the gospel of Christ.) Q: What does Paul say will result from this kind of giving? (Increase in the store of seed, enlarge their harvest of righteousness, thanksgiving to God, praise to God, prayers for your hearts, thanks to God for the gift of Jesus.)
- In view of these things Paul has said, how would you summarize the feelings that should be in the heart of one who is giving? (Joy, obedience, praise to God, thanks, appreciation for God’s gift of Christ.) These are all appropriate thoughts for one who is worshipping God. Q: How many of the purpose of worship can our giving fulfill? (Proclamation, adoration, communication, edification—all four.)
- We should, then, make the time of giving a time of thoughtful, heartfelt worship. It should be a time when we thank God for what He has given us and in which we give an offering to Him as an expression of our love to Him. Our generous gifts can lead others to thank Him and praise Him, as well.
- Q: Does the amount of the gift make any difference in the feelings we are expressing? (A sacrificial gift obviously sends a different message to God than a stingy gift.)
- Let’s sing two songs about giving. “I Gave My Life for Thee.” Q: Who is speaking to whom in this song? (Christ to us.) Q: On what basis does the song say we should be generous? (What Christ gave for us.) Let’s read 2 Corinthians 8:8-9 where Paul makes this very point. Now let’s sing the song thoughtfully.
- Now turn to “Take My Life, and Let it Be.” Q: What do you notice about the song title? (It stops in the middle of the sentence.) This is something we must learn about singing songs—sometimes the thought does not end where a line of poetry ends. In such a case we must carry the thought forward even though the music may pause. Let’s read together the first line of this song through the word Thee without pausing for a breath. Even though that is not how the music flows, it is how our thoughts must flow. Another example of this is the song “Jesus Calls Us.” The second stanza of this song starts, “Jesus calls us from the worship.” Does Jesus call us from the worship? Q: What is the rest of the line? (Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store.” To get the sense, we must carry the thought across the break in the music. Now back to “Take My Life.” We will sing all five verses. Notice that in verses 1, 2, 3 and 5, there is no punctuation after the first half of the line. So we will sing these verses without a stop there. In verse 4, the verse that ties especially to our giving, there is a punctuation mark in the middle of the first line, so we will stop there. In the second stanza, the only verse with a punctuation mark in the middle of the line is number 1. Q: What would we mean when we sing this song about giving? (It expresses the spirit we should have in our giving—take all of me. That is what Paul said about the Macedonians in 2 Corinthians 8:2. (Have someone read it.) With this thought in mind, let’s sing the song.
- On the sheet provided, write down a few thoughts you might have while the collection baskets are being passed and you are making your contribution. (Teacher—as time allows, let people read these thoughts to each other.)
- Let’s make a commitment to have such thoughts the next time we give to the Lord.
- Be prepared for a quiz next time over today’s lesson.
- Be ready for a quiz over the passages we read on giving.
- Read Daniel 9.
- Quiz over passages on giving.
- Ask in the next class meeting if any felt they were worshipping during the giving.
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