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Obedience and Sacrifice !!!!!!

18 Mar

For many of us, holiday gift buying is very difficult, because most of whom we purchase gifts for already have almost everything. Speaking for myself, there is nothing that I really want from the material perspective. Can we even begin to imagine what kind of gift we can offer God since He is both the Creator, and owner of ALL that exists?

What gift can you get for the God who already has everything? Does God desire sacrifice? The book of Leviticus opens with a gift registry that offers a few suggestions.

What gift can you get for Almighty God? It’s hard to shop for a God who has everything. The Hebrew word for sacrifice, korban, could be translated as “something brought near,” or to put it another way, it could be translated as “gift.” The Israelites were to view the sacrifices as gifts that they could bring to God.

He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf. (Leviticus 1:4)

In Romans 12:1, Paul urges us to present our bodies as a “living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.” What does this mean in practical terms? Is Paul asking us to build altars and literally sacrifice ourselves upon them? Of course he’s not. Paul is using the sacrificial language as an illustration for obedience. He is urging us to set aside our stubborn wills, our wayward flesh and our self-centered egos and force them to submit to the commandments of God. When we set aside our own personal desires and inclinations for the sake of obeying God, we are sacrificing ourselves for the sake of heaven. Instead of offering a bull, a goat or a lamb to God as a gift, we are offering ourselves. This is why the prophet Samuel declared that obedience is better than sacrifice:

Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

Through the prophet Hosea, the LORD declared, “I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). Yeshua was fond of quoting this verse to prove that God was more concerned with ethical behavior than half-hearted ritual obedience. This is an important principle for all religious people. Regardless of one’s religion, it is always easier to attend to ritual concerns than to live godly lives. This is very true with Christians of every denomination as well. The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “Do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).

In today’s world there is no Tabernacle or Temple in which a person might offer a sacrifice. If we desire to give God a gift today, what can we give Him? We can give no better gift than our own humble submission to His will. We can give Him the simple sacrifice of grateful obedience.

 

Shalom, until next time, Lord willing,

 

Levi

 
32 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , ,

32 responses to “Obedience and Sacrifice !!!!!!

  1. Denine Taylor

    March 18, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Karen Pickering

    March 18, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Spot on. That kind of talk doesn’t sit well with our me first society. We need to be reminded of it again and again. Thank you, Levi.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      March 18, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks Karen. God bless you as you’re writing your new book!

      Like

       
  3. redmuleskinners

    March 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Amen Levi

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. tonyroberts64

    March 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    A very timely reflection for me as I prayerfully consider how I can obey God by being a more faithful husband and father.

    Levi, I would like to ask that you pray for my son Caleb who is undergoing a rare medical condition for which the prognosis is not bleak. I would greatly appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      March 18, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      Hey Tony. I would be happy to pray for your Caleb. It seems like Caleb’s (your and mine) have had a rough few months. Hope you are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. deborah ann

    March 18, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Amen Levi ~ a submissive heart to His will is the best gift we can offer Him, in return for all that Jesus did for us! ~ Blessings ~

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. Debbie

    March 18, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you, Levi, for helping us know what to give! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  7. kiwiskan

    March 18, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    …and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God…

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      March 19, 2015 at 7:35 am

      Exactly. This is the verse Judaism uses for salvation without seeing the need for Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • kiwiskan

        March 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

        …but if they read the whole of Micah they will see the truth…

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • Levi Thetford

          March 19, 2015 at 1:56 pm

          Yes, but they interpret it differently to not have to acknowledge the Messiahship of Jesus. Only the Spirit can convict and teach the truth.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  8. leneijapan

    March 19, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Well written friend!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  9. tellthetruth1

    March 19, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Loved this. Missed you, Levi. Howz it going?

    Liked by 1 person

     
  10. Susan Irene Fox

    March 19, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Wonderful, Levi. Surrender. Giving up our ego and will. Allowing Him to be in the driver’s seat, and enjoying the ride He provides.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      March 19, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Hi Susan. This is all that we have to offer. Nothing else will do. Lord bless you, my friend!!! 🙂

      Like

       
  11. Elouise

    March 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Hi, Levi! I’m so glad I saw this. I love this line: “Regardless of one’s religion, it is always easier to attend to ritual concerns than to live godly lives.”

    This post makes me think of the Christmas carol, In the Bleak Midwinter. In the end, all I can give God is my heart–not my pure, perfect, righteous, just and merciful heart, but my heart as it is. Only God knows what to do with it without breaking it.

    How are you? I’m going to see whether I’ve been missing other posts from you!
    Elouise

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      March 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Elouise. Thank you. I haven’t been around much at all. Have been and am very busy. I’m home for a bit but am in preparation to be gone from very early Summer till Fall. It’s all good. Hope you are doing well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. SLIMJIM

    March 20, 2015 at 3:13 am

    A good reflection; loving obedience gets more sweeter and sweeter the more we are motivated by the Gospel

    Liked by 1 person

     
  13. Shaquana Gardner

    July 29, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Hey Levi, it is my greatest pleasure when God finally reveals His truth, for things He tells me to save, whenever I am eager to embellish before I fully embrace their purpose. I saved this post to read, for over 4 months, until God told me I would clearly understand the very defined purpose of it, in my life. Today, He told me to read it, and I completely understand! My greatest weakness in my will to please God, has always been willful and more importantly, grateful obedience!

    It took a whole lot of struggle, tough love and effort to do away with the flesh, for me to reach this point that I am at today. His understanding is so much greater than mine and for that reason, if no other, like a child who must be obedient to one’s parent, I must OBEY His will! If makes my life so much easier, forgoing so much suffering, sadness and confusion for me! How can I not be grateful?! Such a simple, yet divinely powerful and deep truth! Thanks for being you, Levi!! Your insight and wisdom always go a long way in my world of seeking God’s kingdom!! God bless you always!!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      July 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Shaquana, it amazes me how God works and when. I’m thrilled that He has used these words to help you in your spiritual growth. To follow Him is the best and easiest route for sure. Don’t forget that He is a gentle Shepherd. Thanks for your encouraging words my dear!!!

      Liked by 1 person

       

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