A costly offering

Both 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 record the account of David building an altar to the Lord in response to God’s mercy in cutting short the punishment that resulted from David’s sin of taking a census. And in both accounts, the owner of the threshing floor offers to give David the property and the oxen for the sacrifice. But David replies that he will not offer to God an offering that costs him nothing.

In Romans 12, Paul defines our worship as “presenting our bodies as living sacrifices”. The Message paraphrase of Romans 12:1 really captures the essence of what Paul is writing there:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

There is always a cost associated with that kind of living. Being a living sacrifice means taking all the time, talent and treasure that God has entrusted to me and offering it up to Him for Him to use it as He desires.

Honestly, I don’t do a very good job of that sometimes. When I’m “too busy” to read the Bible or pray or serve someone in the name of Jesus or share my faith with someone, what I’m essentially telling God is that I’m not willing to make an offering that will cost me in some way.

I also see this in the church sometimes. I find that people are often willing to donate something that is old, worn-out, broken, or something that they just don’t need of want any more – an offering of “leftovers” that essentially cost them nothing. But when it comes to offering God the “firstfruits”, the very top portion of their income, an offering that would really cost them something, some of those same people aren’t quite so eager.

So here is the question I’m asking myself and all of you today: What offering will I make to God today that costs me something?”

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