Freedom · Worship

freedom… to lay down an offering…

offering… the act of one who offers… something offered especially: a sacrifice
ceremonially offered as part of worship… a contribution to the support of a church…
—Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed.

Yesterday… I had an opportunity to give an offering at church…

Not a monetary gift in the offering plate… but a time of witness… sharing part of my story… through a prayer and praise service…
This is not something I’ve done before… at least not in a public setting… with a microphone and sound system…
Multiple times… I’ve shared bits of my story… one on one… or in small groups… Bible studies… so yesterday… felt like a sacrifice…
But the funny thing was… this whole opportunity… this offering… appears to be an answer to prayer… one I wrote in a journal… way back in January…
Lord, free me up to use the gifts You’ve given me
boldly and without fear! or false humility.

The journaling about offering… came to my attention the eve of the service…
Forgotten pages became most significant in my preparation…
My desire… was to be available to Him… to share the work He’s done in me… through His Word… and prayer…
My usual way would be to fret… write… know exactly what to say… but that just wasn’t the way this time…
I wrestled with resisting the urge to practice in my head… 
He called me to let my story speak… in that moment… as He led…
and really… I mostly had peace…
The morning came… my flesh wanted to bolt… but my spirit seemed calm… prepared…
I prayed earnestly… to be a blessing to Him… to His church… to give an offering… a contribution of spiritual support to His people…
Another line in my journal helped me prepare for this moment…
…an offering is an act of worship given solely with God in mind…

The freedom of offering solely to Him… allowed me the freedom to lay down my offering… leave it on the altar… no need to review… critique… seek affirmation from others…
Whatever your offering… use your freedom in Christ… to contribute to the support of His people… whether it’s monetary… spiritual… service… whatever… 
Lay it down for Him on the altar… and thank Him… for what He’s done for you…
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another,
as good stewards of God’s varied graces…
in order that in everything God may be glorified
through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion
forever and ever. Amen
1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

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