It is a shaming question: the gifts you present to God, would you give to the king? “When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:8).
God calls it robbery. “But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ And God says, ‘In your tithes and contributions’” (Malachi 3:8). Essential to our offering is faith, and faith is letting go, so either owe God everything or give him nothing, but don’t offer him a tip. It wouldn’t sell on Craigslist, so it was donated to the church.
It is not an empty faith, however, when we empty our hands and trust in the Lord. “Put me to the test,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Malachi 3:10). We give to God, not because God needs, but because we need and God gives–but he doesn’t until our hands are empty and open and ready to receive.
My God, may You fill my life with Your desires, Your passions, Your wisdom. May I love You first, most, and always. May my love for You be reflected in what I do, what I buy, what I keep, and what I give. May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and the actions of my self be a testimony of Your goodness and Your greatness, and of my devotion to You.