Have you ever thought about what you offer back to God? When we say offering, most folks immediately think of money. Money is easy because it’s tangible. However, when the Bible speaks of offerings, it speaks of more than just money or goods. Case in point: read through Colossians 3. That portion of Scripture tells us that what we do are supposed to be offerings, too.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of the house of Israel or of the sojourners in Israel presents a burnt offering as his offering, for any of their vows or freewill offerings that they offer to the Lord, if it is to be accepted for you it shall be a male without blemish, of the bulls or the sheep or the goats. – Leviticus, 22:17-19, ESV
One of the things that stands out to me in these verses is that God may reject an offering. This shouldn’t be surprising. After all, Cain’s offering was rejected. What about our offerings? Are they acceptable to God? What is acceptable? Do our offerings meet the standard?
Note the qualifications for all of the offerings: a male without blemish. There are other passages, such as Leviticus 3:1, where the gender doesn’t matter. The “without blemish” does. If we were back in the day and age where animal sacrifices were made at the tabernacle or the temple, we should be offering animals without blemish. Since we’re not in that era, how does this apply to us?
Let’s take it back to love. Whatever we do, if we’re trying to live by grace, is done for the love for our Lord, Jesus, and not out of a sense of obligation nor out of a sense of racking up the score on the “good” tally. When we do something out of love, we tend to do the best we can. On some days the results may be better than others, but the effort is still the same. Therefore, it makes sense that God expected an animal without blemish. And it also makes sense that God would expect our best and reject the rest.
Applying this standard is hard. If we’re truthful with ourselves, we’re likely not going to like the results. However, if we want our offerings – whatever we give back to God – to be acceptable to Him, we must meet the standard. Do I give my best when I go to worship? What about when I pray? Or do I allow myself to be distracted by things that don’t matter? When I’m helping at a work project, am I giving full effort or am I spending much of my time talking and socializing? Is my attitude right? Can I honestly say I’m giving my best? Am I doing what I’m doing for the right reason: I love God and want to do something to bring Him joy? Let us be this critical with our efforts. And let us present acceptable offerings to the One who offered Himself up for us.