Unacceptable Gifts for God

Text: Amos 5:21-24

The Lord’s words in this passage are almost unthinkable to many today. They cannot imagine God not accepting whatever it is they choose to give Him. Yet this passage and others we will notice are clear – some gifts are unacceptable to God.

Gifts Offered Without Cost Are Unacceptable

  • Example of David (2 Samuel 24:21-25)
  • God has called us to sacrifice (1 Peter 2:5) – are we willing to sacrifice, or do we only give what is convenient?
  • In our giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) – do we give what’s leftover, or what we have purposed? (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  • In our time, particularly for the assembly (Hebrews 10:25) – do we make time, or do we assemble when it is convenient?

Gifts Offered Dishonestly Are Unacceptable

  • Example of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-6)
  • Any gift we offer to God is of our own free will – present a sacrifice (Romans 12:1), we are never forced
  • We must not try to offer anything deceptively – what others think of us is of no account (1 Corinthians 4:3-4); we will not fool God (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Gifts Offered Grudgingly Are Unacceptable

  • Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
  • Again, any gift to God is offered of our own free will – we must want to give
  • Example of the Israelites in making offerings for the temple (1 Chronicles 29:6-9)
  • We must serve God with a whole heart (Psalm 119:2) – not only because we have to

Gifts Offered That He Never Asked For Are Unacceptable

  • Example of David (2 Samuel 7:1-7)
  • It is good to ask, “What can I do to serve God?” – but we should not answer that question with assumptions (Matthew 7:22-23)
  • Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5) – not: “Whatever you think He would want you to do, do it”
  • Search the Scriptures to find His will (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Gifts Offered Inconsistently With His Requirements Are Unacceptable

  • Example of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3)
  • We must serve the Lord in the way He has told us to serve Him (Colossians 3:17; 2 Timothy 1:13)
  • In the music we use (Ephesians 5:19) – singing is commanded; instruments are “strange” music


  • The intent to offer gifts to God is good – whether in the form of money, time, effort, allegiance, etc.
  • But we must be careful to offer gifts that are acceptable to Him – otherwise, our efforts are worthless

Adapted from an article written by Bryan Dockens – Unacceptable Gifts for God

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