Leviticus talks about presenting gifts to God–unblemished gifts, clean hands presenting, gifts set apart so that they don’t bring shame on the Lord’s holy name.
“If you present a gift as a burnt offering to the Lord, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, 19 you will be accepted only if your offering is a male animal with no defects. It may be a bull, a ram, or a male goat. 20 Do not present an animal with defects, because the Lord will not accept it on your behalf. Leviticus 22:18-20 NLT.
Words and wealth stand out in Ecclesiastes. So does a gift.
18 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. 19 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. 20 God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
A mighty, majestic God hears cries and saves from enemies. He strengthens his people and blesses them with peace. Gifts.
6 Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
8 The Lord gives his people strength. Psalm 28:6-8 NLT
11 The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace. Psalm 29:11 NLT
Paul writes to Timothy … gifts.
5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:5-7 NLT.
And in my study notes, about a God who calls us to live a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace …
2 Timothy 1:9 footnotes: Salvation is by grace alone and is based not on human effort but on God’s saving plan and the gracious gift of his Son.
Reading of gifts and the motives, methods, amount and heart of giving in an Elizabeth George study of Luke (and passion and purpose) on Tuesday nights; and “four things you really need to know about gifts” in my inbox just yesterday–I’m not surprised to see gifts lift off the pages of today’s reading.
Father, thank you for gifts–that I can receive them and give them. Thank you most of all for your great love and the work Jesus Christ did on my behalf–to save me, because I couldn’t do it on my own. The perfect offering, a sacrifice unblemished.