The Old Testament lists so many types of offerings in the book of Leviticus for the people to follow. There was the burnt offering, the peace offering, the grain offering, the sin offering and guilt offering just to name a few. These different types of offerings were for different situations and had different rituals that God instructed Moses and the Israelites to follow.
Today, when you hear the word “offering”, you probably connect it to church. That’s because typically the church collects an offering of money from those in attendance. This usually happens at some point during or after the service. Some churches have even gone to online giving to make it convenient for their members.
While giving money is a focal point throughout the Bible, it is not the main type of offering God requires of believers today. There is one thing we are to offer more than anything else. And when we do it, all other types of offerings we may choose to give find their place underneath its banner.
A New Type of Offering
The sacrifices in the Old Testament helped people get right with God. Some were also done as a means of thanksgiving. Through the sacrifices, the people showed their appreciation to God for all he had done for them.
We don’t sacrifice like that today. There is no ritual killing of an animal on an altar that helps believers get right with God. Today, people get right with God by believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Once that happens though, believers do have a responsibility to God. And that responsibility does come in the form of an offering. Not an animal, but of ourselves.
A Living Sacrifice
This is how Paul puts it when writing Romans 12:1:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
And just in case you think this was an isolated theme for Paul, here he is again in Romans 6:13:
“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”
And one more time in Romans 6:19:
“Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.”
God expects believers to offer themselves as a living sacrifice to him. It’s a demonstration of our love for and commitment to him. When we offer our lives to his service, he will use us. Ultimately, we will draw closer to him through this exercise of daily submission.
So why don’t we? What keeps believers from sacrificing this type of offering today?
What Keeps Believers From Offering Themselves?
Paul clearly believed followers of Jesus were to present their whole being to God for his service. In the verses above, he called it “true and proper worship” to offer yourself as an “instrument of righteousness.” There is no greater command than to love God with all you have.
But something keeps believers from doing this. Something holds people back from fully committing their post-salvation lives to God. They may give God a little, but not wholeheartedly as the text says. Why is that?
Two words – “the world.”
The world we live in is a good place. God created it for us. So much about it blesses us every day.
But in many respects, it’s a dark place too. It was corrupted by sin at the beginning of time. Since that fateful event in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3), mankind has moved in a downward spiritual spiral, rejecting God and doing their own thing. The lure of the world system and all its pleasures, keeps even believers from following God with all their heart.
Paul gave a warning to believers in Romans 12:2. He said not to be conformed to the world, but instead have our minds transformed so that we could understand God’s will.
Likewise, the apostle John counseled against loving the world when he wrote in I John 2:15-16:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
It’s clear that it’s the Father or the world. One will win over our attention. It should be God and here’s why.
The Value of Offering Yourself to God
Yes, the things of the world are difficult to resist. That’s partly because some are not inherently bad and do bring us pleasure. But it becomes a problem when that pleasure disrupts our relationship with God.
The truth is a life lived wholeheartedly for God brings us the joys we ultimately want anyway. It brings us pleasure without the spiritual pain. Better outcomes emerge for us in the long run when we align our hearts and minds with our heavenly Father’s.
In the end, we will be just like Moses who:
“…when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)
Moses knew exactly the type of offering God required. He knew that the long-term gain outweighed the short-term pleasure. Because of this, he was willing to offer himself as God’s servant to be used in a might way.
God wants all of the same from you. He longs for you to offer yourself freely to him and pursue him with all your heart. Are you willing to make this type of offering today?
Leave a Comment or Answer a Question Below: What keeps you from offering yourself to God? Is there something in this world that is driving a wedge between you and God?
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