We’ve just been through the Christmas season, when people feel all kinds of anxiety about gift-giving.  When we buy a gift for someone, we can find our stomach in knots wondering if they’ll like it.  With kids, we watch with horror as they take the amazing, cool gift we bought them, and leave it behind to play with the box.  With a friend or loved one, we offer a gift, then wonder if we bought the right colour, the right size, the right gift?  Did I spend too much, or too little?  Will they get me something better?

My wife reminded me of a gift I gave her for one of our Christmases, when we were still dating.  I apparently went on and on about what a great deal I got, and became really annoying about it!

It was a long time ago, I don’t really remember.  Looking back, I think I was probably nervous she would think I’d spent too much, or that the gift was too forward too early in the relationship.  Who knows!

Either way, it apparently took away some of the magic of the gift.  It started to sound like the motive in giving the gift wasn’t generosity, but frugality.  It sounded like I didn’t choose it just because it was the perfect gift in the perfect colour, but because it was on sale.

When we offer a gift to someone, it’s not just about the item itself – you know the old cliché – it’s the thought that counts!  Put another way, the motive matters.  Are you giving because you drew this person’s name in Secret Santa, or because you love them?  Are you giving because it’s on sale, or because it’s the perfect gift?

Well, the stakes are high with a girlfriend, husband, grandchild or boss.  But imagine how much higher they are when offering a gift to God?

This week, we’ll learn about a story where two brothers tried to give offerings to God.  One went over well, one didn’t, and it had something to do with their motivations behind the gifts.

But first, here’s a question to think about and discuss with your group:

Question: What kinds of offerings, or gifts, do you think God wants from us?  Have you ever tried giving God something, anything, before?  What happened?

Reminder: We are reading the Bible in sync as one community – so check out today’s reading at https://www.redeemthecommute.com/readingplan

Meeting with a Group?  Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide

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