“Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, let your nakedness be exposed on it.” (Exodus20:24–26)
The mechanics of worship occupy an important place in biblical revelation. The sacrifices to the Lord, the place of such sacrifice, the priests who administer the sacrifices, the times and seasons stipulated, as well as the ingredients of the ritual of worship began to unfold here. The important thing is to realize that some form, some ritual or regulation, generally accompanies worship. A ritual for worship must be planned and designed. Worship may be individual or corporate.
In either case it is never consistently haphazard or casual. Instead, definite patterns of worship are seen in Scripture. Such worship is directed to the one true God. God does not tolerate practices which people might confuse with worship practices of other gods or life-styles opposed to the one true God.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You taught Your people how and when to worship, and how to set the altar up, and how to conduct the service. You designated the priests and all who were to do the work within Your church to conduct themselves and how to be in support of Your people at all times and in all things. Let us continue this work today, Abba, we have taken time away, for good reason and for concern of lives. Now, Abba, let us be able to regather Your flock, so that we might once again continue the work that You have given each of us to do. This, we ask in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“God can and does use ordinary instruments to produce a concert of praise.”
“This is the portion of the offerings made to the Lord by fire that were allotted to Aaron and his sons on the day they were presented to serve the Lord as priests. On the day they were anointed, the Lord commanded that the Israelites give this to them as their regular share for the generations to come. These, then, are the regulations for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering and the fellowship offering, which the Lord gave Moses on Mount Sinai on the day he commanded the Israelites to bring their offerings to the Lord, in he Desert of Sinai.” (Leviticus7:35–38)
Beloved, worship from the very beginning included an offering to the Lord. Offerings should be given an evening sacrifices, as well as other special days and seasons of special offerings. These offerings and sacrifices represented the product of human labor as a symbol of gratitude to God. True sacrifice involves personal cost. King David insisted on purchasing land to sacrifice to the Lord, refusing to let the owner give him the land as an offering.
Old Testament animal sacrificing culminated in the New Testament in the once for all sacrifice of Christ. Because of the Lord’s atoning death, the apostle Paul call on Christians to offer our lives and our possessions to the Lord, for Christ had made the sacrifice for us all on the cross, on our behalf.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The New Testament reveals the need of the giving of ourselves and all we are to God as an act of worship. Christ’s death on the cross fulfilled the Old Testament requirements to make the animal sacrifice. That aspect of worship is now expressed in the giving of our lives completely to the Lord and faithful giving of our possessions.
As has been noted previously, “Humans usually serve sin.” Voluntary presentation of self to God for His purposes, is a spiritual act of worship, which reveals our complete and full relationship with God through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We now offer ourselves to our God without hesitation and freely.
Second Thought of the Day:
“And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonia churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything—- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us!—-see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.” (2nd Corinthians8:1-8)
Beloved, Christian giving is not just about giving money or just about giving possessions, or about giving etc.; it is about all that and your labor and skills and gifts that you have been blessed with as well. It should also be done in a manner that comes out of your abundance, not just what is left over after you’ve paid your bills.
Do you remember the woman who gave her two copper coins (all that she had) while others were giving out of their abundance (they had lots, so it didn’t hurt to give what they did). The woman gave out of total faith, while others gave in measured amounts, so as not to put them in a bind. One thing I haven’t mentioned, that we ought to give our of our joy! To witness giving to help others, ought to make you feel good, but to help take those resources to help others less fortunate, will give you a feeling like none other. It will put a smile on your face, for your effort and your gifts. Amen?!