“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Don’t Come Empty-Handed – Joyfully Give Your Freewill Offering
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 16 verses 10–17
Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give to the Lord your God, as the Lord your God blesses you. 11 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and daughter, your manservant and maidservant, and the Levite who is within your towns, the stranger or temporary resident, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place in which the Lord your God chooses to make His Name [and His Presence] dwell. 12 And you shall [earnestly] remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be watchful and obey these statutes. 13 You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths for seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and wine vat. 14 You shall rejoice in your Feast, you, your son and daughter, your manservant and maidservant, the Levite, the transient and the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15 For seven days you shall keep a solemn Feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses; because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the works of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. 16 Three times a year shall all your males appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
Deuteronomy 16:10-17 AMP
1. God asked them for a free-will offering
a. A freewill offering is an offering that is your choice—you decide what to give
b. Note: It is not called a free-will offering, because you have a choice on IF you are going to give, but
only because you are deciding WHAT you are going to give, when it is time to give
c. Your gift should be in proportion to the blessing of the Lord that you have received
d. You are to bring it to the place of worship with rejoicing—cheerfully and joyfully
e. Remember—remind yourself—where the Lord has brought you from so you will remember and
appreciate all His blessings on your life
2. The Lord instructed us—His people—to come and worship Him with our giving—joyfully—as a celebration and a solemn feast.
a. The word, translated “solemn” here means: properly; to move in a circle; to march in a sacred
procession; to observe a festival; by implication—to be giddy. It is translated in the KJV as celebrate;
dance; keep or hold a solemn feast or holiday; to reel to and fro!
b. God promised—if you obey—to bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands
c. You are to give joyfully—in expectation of the upcoming blessing
d. Giving and joy go hand in hand
e. It is more blessed to give than to receive! (Acts 20:35)
3. Verse 16 says, you should not appear before the Lord empty-handed
Do not come to worship God with nothing in your hand
You can’t give what you don’t have, but…
…every man (and woman) is to give as he/she is able, according to the blessing of the Lord
Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
The Feast of Tabernacles was “party-time”—a time to really celebrate all of God’s generosity and faithfulness! Not one of us likes to be taken advantage of or taken for granted. None of us appreciates a gift that is cheap, stingy, or given grudgingly. When that happens, what you want to do is just hand it back to the person who gave it to you. Why, oh why, do we think that God is happy with that kind of treatment? The tithe is not optional, but freewill offerings are. Both are essential. The tithe reflects your obedience to God. Your freewill offerings reflect your love for God. Get a revelation of how much God has blessed you, how much He wants to bless you, and how much He has promised to bless you, and you will really begin to enjoy generously and joyfully blessing Him back!
Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
Why is it that when a minister of the Gospel stands up to receive the offering, people get either sad or mad? Why do they have a long face? This should be a celebration! We get to worship God with our giving! I guess there are just some things I don’t understand. It’s almost as though people treat God like a debt-collector. It’s giving; it’s celebration; it’s worship! Let’s not come with long faces—as if we are about to lose something —let’s come with celebration, thanksgiving and gratitude to honor the King!
Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank you for all Your blessings, what You have done for me, and where You have brought me from! I come joyfully and I worship You with my giving for You have greatly blessed me.