What Are You Offering to God? - Bible Study Lesson Outline
What Are You Offering to God?
In the old testament of the Bible, under the Jewish law, there are a variety of sacrifices that the followers of the LORD were told to bring God. Certain times of the year called for specific offerings. All offerings had requirements (especially animals brought to God as sacrifices). All the old testament offerings were meant to show and explain to us the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. He was a blameless, sinless, perfect sacrifice. God gave His very best to fulfill the requirements of His law.
In Malachi 1:6-8, the LORD brings some things to light. Speaking to Israel (through the prophet Malachi) he tells them He knows how they really feel about Him – even though they act like they honor Him.
- They don’t honor God as Father
- They don’t fear (or respect or revere) Him
- The don’t love Him (they despise or hate him!)
And He said all this to the priests – the people who supposedly were closest to God. Not only did the priests have a hypocritical attitude toward God (acting different than how they really felt) but when they did serve him they brought inferior offerings – moldy bread, sick or crippled animals, and things that they wouldn’t dare bring to their (human) boss or ruler.
Even though this was written to ancient Israel, everything still applies to us – it was written for our learning (Romans 15:4). Additionally, the scriptures state that Christian believers are priests (1 Peter 2:9, Rev.). So we should pay attention to what we bring to God! Does He notice or care any less about what you and I present to Him? No. What are you offering to God?
Note: This is not talking about entering into salvation. That was completely paid for by Jesus, offered freely to all. Salvation has no requirements. Anyone may accept Jesus as their savior.
We're made up of three component parts: body, soul, spirit. (I Thess. 5:23, Hebrews 4:12) We should present ourselves to Him. (Rom. 12:1)
I. Your Physical Body
- Your actions - whatever you do (I Cor 10:31)
- Endurance of hardship (2 Cor 11:27, 2 Tim. 2:3)
- Work for God (2 Tim. 4:5)
- Suffering (Philippians 1:29-30, Romans 8:16-17)
- Sacrifice of comfort
- Rejection of sin (I Cor 5 – fornication)
II. Your Soul (or, Mind)
- Thoughts, imagination, conscience, reason, affections
- Attitudes towards others (I Cor 13:1)
III. Your Spirit
- The place of spiritual understanding and discernment
- Exercises faith, hope, reverence for God
The ultimate goal for us, as a living sacrifice to God, is to eventually be conformed to the image and likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29, II Cor. 3:18)...NOT the world (Romans 12:2). This conforming process may be difficult. It’s not always easy but it happens through a life that shuns and confronts sin, faces and turns down many temptations, and may even take the hard road of physical suffering or persecution. And, it’s gradual – not instant.
"We can only make the transformation from fleshly beings to spiritual as we are placed in situations where our character is tried. We must be brought into a variety of circumstances where the natural man will always respond with lust, fear, anger, and a host of other unrighteous thoughts and actions. But to pass the test, we must respond with patience, meekness, mercy, and love."
That's the sort of sacrifice that shows the respect, honor, love, and reverence you have for God.
Q: WHY must we suffer? Isn't it mean of God to make us go through hard times, suffering, unfair treatment, and other trials?
A: He rarely chooses to subject His servants to ease and comfort, riches or acclaim of the world. When life is comfortable, even God's children tend to be at ease - and tend toward pride and careless living. God knows us and our tendencies - so chooses circumstances to keep us focused on Him.
Q: Why is it important to place yourself at the service of God? Why is it important to rely on Him? Why is it important to obey His will and look for His direction in your life?
Because when someone lives for themselves, directs their own path, and obeys their own will they will take the easiest path, the most prosperous path, and the way that will give them the most gain in this world. The Father's path isn't always easy and isn't always full of pleasure - but it improves us, has a purpose, and will bring eternal rewards. We only ever want comfort - now. But if we just seek comfort while living on this earth, we won’t reach the higher purpose God has for us.