Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God instituted the Sabbath for His people to obey. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live by the Sabbath principle.
Read Leviticus 22:17-25
I. Specific Requirements. The Lord gives instructions to Moses to pass on to His people in our Sunday School material. The message relates to what God will and will not accept as offerings. The Lord requires quality offerings.
- God’s messengers. Notice in vs. 17, 20 that God sends His message about what is acceptable and not acceptable through the people He designated.
First, there are too many people who want to ignore what God’s designated messengers have to say on behalf of God. Too many want to behave as if they have a special direct line outside of God’s expressed will.
Second, we would do well to hear what God is saying about what is acceptable and unacceptable, because if it is not acceptable to God, “What is the use”?
There are ways that seem right to us but end in death. Let’s work on hearing what God is saying through those He uses to share His messages.
- Holy motives. Notice in vss. 18-19 that God required the animals to be without defect. One of the reasons for this requirement is that God is without defeat.
Holy God required holy offerings. Today, we should be more concerned with holy motives or making sure that our motives for giving are without defect. There are three biblical reasons to give today.
The best reason to give is to tell the Lord “Thank You” for what He has already done for you. A good reason to give is to receive the blessings that God promises to those who trust Him in their giving.
And a third reason to give is to avoid the punishment that God gives to those who disobey His will. Let’s work on giving to God with holy (i.e., without defect) motives.
- Love instead of law. Notice in vss. 18-23 that there were burnt offerings, fellowship offerings, offerings related to vows, and freewill offerings.
According to the commentator of the Sunday School material, the burnt offering had to do with devotion and surrender to God. The fellowship offering had to do with fellowship or peace among God and His people (i.e., Priest and people ate portions of these offerings).
The offerings related to vows showed commitment to the vows. And the freewill offering was related to showing God special thanks for special blessings.
First, we are not under legalistic obligations to give the various types of offerings that we see in the text. Jesus was our perfect lamb, and He satisfied legalistic requirements related to our sin debt.
Second, love should move us to give to God in proportion to how God has given to us. Since God’s people have been giving at least 10% of what God gave them, since the book of Genesis, surely we should not lower the bar in the New Testament.
Let’s make sure we give to God as He has given to us (i.e., at least 10% of what God has blessed us with) because of love, not the law.
Read Leviticus 22:31-33
II. General Requirements. In our Sunday School material the Lord calls for obedience to His commands. God’s people are to live holy (i.e., set apart) lives. God brought them out of Egypt to be their God.
- Holy obedience. Notice in vss. 31-33 that the greatest evidence of being holy or set apart is our obedience to God’s commands. In fact, where there is a lack of obedience, God is profane.
Today, every believer should focus on the two greatest commandments of God – love God with all that you have and love others, as you love yourself.
Let’s work on being holy in our obedience. It profanes God, when we claim to be holy because of our knowledge about Him, our church attendance, and a few good deeds.
- Living by God’s purpose. Notice in vs. 33 that God delivered His people from Egypt for His purposes. In like manner, God delivers us for His purposes. God wants us to bring glory to His name, by obeying Him and trusting Him for the results.
Let’s work on living in line with God’s purpose for our lives. The more we do what God has purposed for us, the more blessings we will have. The further we drift from what God has purposed for us, the more stress we can expect.
Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God, in every area of our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.
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