This morning, well, yesterday morning now, I read Leviticus chapter one. This chapter speaks on the requirements and specifics that God gave the Children of Israel for offering sacrifices to Him. In reading that entire chapter, one verse…well part of it…caught my attention. In verse number three, God begins by saying that if it’s a burnt sacrifice………(uh, the dots mean I left the rest out) then (this is the part I’m talking about), He says, “he shall offer it of his own voluntary will…” In the New King James Version of the Bible, it says, “he shall offer it of his own free will…” I looked up the definition of free will…so I could word it properly for you. Here it is…free will: the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion. This is saying loud and clear that God told those Children (lol @ those Children…uh…sorry…serious face), “look, I’m not going to make you do anything, but if you’re bringing me a sacrifice, it MUST be to my specifications.” And…I mean…let’s think about this……now, if I offer to bring you lunch, and I KNOW you don’t eat onions, why would I get them on your sandwich??? EXACTLY! I would bring you what YOU like because I offered to bring YOU lunch. Same thing with God, when we OFFER a sacrifice to Him, nowadays it’s praise and worship, fasting, study time, etc., we have got to give it they way He wants it. Now, I checked a few other versions of the Bible and the KJV and NKJV are the only ones that include that clause…about free will. To me, that is one of the most important parts. There is no use in giving to God, or anyone else for that matter, if you REALLY DON’T WANT TO! We must be willing vessels. I’ve been guilty before…yep…I sure have. I’ve gone to church and sang out of routine but that was it. Not because I was grateful for the opportunity…AS I SHOULD HAVE BEEN…or because God had been so good to me, but because I could. That wasn’t a proper sacrifice because that is NOT how God requires me to enter into His presence. Had I been in the old testament, coming before the Lord like that, I’m sure I would have died. Now, it was on my own free will, but it wasn’t to God’s specifications. And I’ve also been guilty of not wanting to meet God’s requirements because of what I was going through, although I “sacrificed” anyway. So, this time, it wasn’t on my free will…I didn’t want to because I didn’t feel like it. Either way, It wasn’t what God desired of me so it was of none effect…it was sin…anything not pleasing to God is a sin (including saints getting up doing NOTHING and calling it SOMETHING like I have before…but we’ll talk about that another time). I should have just kept it to myself…BOTH TIMES! In the new testament (after Christ gave Himself as the ULTIMATE sacrifice), Romans chapter 12 and verse one, to be exact, says to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” So, what I’ve gathered in my life lessons, is that if I’m going to give of myself, I have got to want to. I mean, this scripture says to present YOUR body as a living sacrifice….that means we must submit our will to God…like Jesus did…otherwise, we will allow our flesh to be in control…we allow our minds to wander and we won’t be sincere in our giving. But, also, notice the verse says, “which is your reasonable service,” meaning…it’s the least you could do. After all, God saved us before we were us. We all know that sacrifice is a BIG word! So big, that all that killing and burning of animals that they did in the old testament (and they killed a lot of animals back in the day…..) could only be ceased with a holy sacrifice like none other…JESUS! He traded His life for all of ours…like…willingly. You know…like in Luke 22:42, when He said, “……nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (if you didn’t know, you do now.) I imagine He was all like…”Now Father, I’d really appreciate it if I didn’t have to go through this, you know…them beating me to death.” And then, I imagine, He thought about you and me and said something like, “You know what, scratch that…I want Your will to be done…forget what I want.” And the rest is history…literally…it’s in the Bible. 🙂 Now, I wouldn’t even have died for myself, let alone everyone else (honesty is the best policy…lol). Soooooo…..I said ALL OF THAT to say, if you give, do it with a willing heart. Do it the way that you KNOW it should be done…not just so you can say that you did it. Like I said before, sacrifice is a BIG word but it’s always worth it.
Love you all!