Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Own Freewill {Devo}

If anyone else out there is reading their Bible through in a year, you probably started at the same spot I did...Genesis.  Yup, January 1st = Genesis 1.  If you've kept up with it {which should be the case. Come on, people, it's only Feb}, then you are somewhere between Leviticus and Numbers.  {BTW: for those of you who don't read the Bible, try it! It will change your life!!!} If you are anything like me, you struggled a bit through Leviticus.  It if full of detailed commandments that the Lord gave the children of Israel. {Side note: Aren't you glad we have a detail-oriented God? How would you like it if God forgot to give you fingerprints on your fingers and toes or eyelashes on your eyelids???} I cringe when I hear people say, "I just skim through those Old Testament books. They were written to the Jews not us Gentiles."  Yikes!! There is a REASON God included those books in His complete and utterly perfect Word.  Don't you think He might have put them there to help teach and guide us?
So there I was, reading about the physical condition in which an animal must be in order to be sacrificed, what food the Jews could or could not eat, and the qualifications of a priest, none of which literally apply to me.  Then I came across this verse, "And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, ye shall offer it at your own will." {Lev 19:5} Leviticus explains in full detail the offering up of sacrifices to the Lord.  There were several types of sacrifices:

  • Burnt offering: an atonement for sin in general, enabling an unholy people to approach a holy God 
  • Meat {Grain} offering: an expression of thanksgiving and dedication to God; 
  • Sin offering: an atonement for unintentional sins of weakness or carelessness;
  • Trespass {Guilt} offering: an atonement for specific sins, injured persons compensated for their losses; 
  • and lastly Peace {Fellowship} offering: an expression of gratitude and desire for fellowship with God. 
That last offering is the type that is mentioned in this Leviticus 19:5.  God said to His children that if anyone would offer a peace offering to Him symbolizing a desire for fellowship, it must be of their own free will.  Many of the other offerings offered to the Lord were for forgiveness of sins and were commanded to be given.  But for this "fellowship" offering, the Lord was essentially saying, "You must WANT to fellowship with me or your offering is of no use."
Example: Imagine that you are looking forward to spending time with a certain loved one, but you soon find out that they don't really WANT to spend time with you.  They feel forced to out of obligation or are being "made" to by some third party.  What would the fellowship time with that loved one mean to you?  Not much! In fact, you would probably come to the point where it saddened you to spend time with that person.  This must be the way God feels when we come to Him out of obligation or guilt. He desires our fellowship more than we'll ever know, yet He also desires that WE desire the fellowship.
Just as important as a desire to fellowship is the way in which we fellowship.  Following Leviticus 19:5 are three verses dealing with the way in which a peace offering must be presented.  There is a practical application here.  God does not want us to go find ourselves a living animal and offer it up. NO! We are to "present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable..." When we fellowship with the Lord, we should take great care to do so in a holy and acceptable manner.  Not what "feels good" to us but what is pleasing to the Lord.
Fellowship with the Lord is such a precious and sacred aspect of being a child of God.  If we would only take Him up on His offer and desire that fellowship, we would find that little this world has to offer can compare to a close walk with Him.


  1. Thank you for the encouragement :)

  2. I actually kept notes about the different 'offerings' and had to do a slight diagram of the ways the, according to description, certain things were made as I read them. It was really hard to keep in tuned with all the visuals that that book gives. I actually started this yr over with Acts--bc I read the Gospels again bc of the holidays--so I just kept going on through the NT. Our church started preaching from I'm still getting some good OT lessons, and very anxious to finish these last few books in the NT to get to the OT:)


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