God, how expensive is He? How much does it cost us to worship the Hebrew-Christian God? If He demands that we give a portion of our surplus, where does He want it to go? Before God adopted the Israelites, they worshipped many deities with expensive tastes, even human sacrifices. The “Tenth” they were asked to give was to teach the people how to live without these needless costly religious sacrifices. Jesus revived the same concepts. He too wanted His disciples to teach that God was not part of a system that required enormous sacrifices. He was the God of the living and not of the dead. He evaluates us by the way we treat and respect each other and not by the way we degrade and eliminate each other. The money God wants is to reinvest in us so that we learn how to get along with each other.
Consider what people spend on their entertainments, habits, interest like clubs and sports and ideologies as well as religions? These sacrifices that we are willingly make bankrupt many. And what do they give us in return? The experts tell us that we are the most stressed out people in the world. We are left with hangovers, broken homes, unsustainable behavior, uncertainties and afraid to go to sleep for fear we have to go through it all again. We play with death when we should be harnessing and saving our lives. We hunger and long for people that can bring a little magic into our lives. When some do, we celebrate as long as the drugs and liquor keep us elated. How much simpler it can be when we accept Jesus invitation to receive peace and tranquility (Mt.11: 28-30).
I do know about such a life. I too was once put down to the very bottom by circumstances. I had nowhere to go but to die. Back in my head, my mother had planted the idea that I could live for God. God did not want me dead. He wanted me to get well and put my life in the service for others. How did Jesus put it? “What I do for the least of my fellow human beings, I am doing for the Lord.” I love God most when I am a Good Samaritan. It is unfortunate that we spent much money and time on learning how to pray and worship when we should be learning how to help each other. We have become like the Israelites in the wilderness where we too expect the same manna from heaven weekly or even bi-weekly. Jesus changed that concept by feeding the 5000 and the 4000 only once. He also changed the idea that we need elaborate and costly places where we can worship God (Jn.4: 21-24; Isa.66: 1-2). He wants our hearts or lives and not our places where we meet (Isa.29: 13).