What do you need to know about our Divine Service before attending so that you might get the most benefit from the gifts of God? Let’s continue examining the various parts so that we might better understand from where each part comes and how it connects to the next.
We have invited God to be a part of our service, we have confessed our sins and been forgiven, we have entered into God’s presence, begged for mercy, praised His name, and spoke His Word back to Him in prayer. We have heard the Word of the Lord from the Old Testament, from one of the apostle’s letters, from the Gospel and from the sermon. We have sung God’s Word.
Our response to God’s Word is to offer our prayers, requests and petitions to the Lord. We pray for ourselves with words of thanks and praise. We pray for our family and friends. We pray for our enemies. We pray for those who have requested prayers. We pray for special needs as we have such need.
Our response to God’s Word is shown in an act of faith, in bringing our first fruits, our tithes and our offerings to the Lord. The offering of our first fruit tithes is an act of faith. Our offering acknowledges that God is the one who gives to us in the first place; that all that we have first comes from God and is a gift from Him; and that in faith we return to Him believing that as He has provided us with all that we need, so He will continue to provide for us. Indeed, this offering is an act of faith as Jesus bore witness to the widow who, in faith, gave all that she had, trusting that God would continue to provide for her. Likewise, we give the first tithe of all that our Lord has given to us and in faith trust that He will continue to provide. Thus, our offerings are a privilege for members to offer, not a collection of coins from others who would give monies for services rendered. As the song so well states, “We give thee but Thine own, whate’er the gift may be; all that we have is Thine alone, a trust o Lord, from Thee.”