“This is my offering, dear Lord. This is my offering to You, God.
And I will give You my life, for it’s all I have to give,
Because You gave Your life for me.”
– Offering by Third Day
Several weeks ago this chorus was running through my head and off my tongue. I was considering whether I should write a post about it … what is our offering? I mean, He did give His life for us: what do we give Him in return?
As I was pondering this, my sister called and asked me to do something that, unbeknownst to her, actually frustrated me. I was about to tell her that what she had asked frustrated me, when someone else started talking to her and in my heart, I felt like the Father whispered, “this is your offering!”
In Matthew chapter five, we read about “going the extra mile”. I feel like people often mention that, but how often do we actually do it? How often do we do a little and then walk away thinking we have done enough and leaving everything else (whatever it may be) for someone else? How often do we selfishly sit back because something is difficult, frustrating or hard to do?
Let me take it a step farther. How often do we withhold from truly loving someone(s) because that person(s) is so irritating? How often do we withhold mercy and grace because that person(s) keeps doing the same thing that upsets us over and over again? How often do we not forgive others because they have really hurt us?
As Believers, we are not given the choice to love or not to love our fellow man.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
“Yeshua said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Matthew 22:37-39
Do we dare withhold mercy and grace … when He has not withheld it from us?
“… Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8b
Forgiveness … it is so easy to say “I forgive you,” but to truly forgive from our hearts can often be more difficult than what we think. When we forgive others, YHWH is glorified … and Satan hates that! Satan does not want us to forgive because when we don’t forgive, roots of bitterness start to grow and they grow harder and stronger everyday. Even though forgiving is hard at times … we must do it! There is freedom in forgiveness!
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15
So my question for you today is, what is our offering? Since it was recently Hanukkah, I have been reading through the Maccabees and while many things stood out to me, there was something that specifically caught my attention in the first book, chapter 14. Many nations had risen up against the Jewish people in an attempt to destroy them, and after these attempts had failed, the Jewish people said, “How can we express our thanks to Simon and his sons? He, his brothers, and his father’s whole family have been towers of strength for our nation. They have fought off our enemies and set the nation free” – 1 Maccabees 14:25b-26.
And in verse 29, “Often when wars broke out in the country, Simon son of Mattathias, a priest of the Jehoiarib family, and his brothers risked their lives in protecting our nation, our Temple, and our Law against our enemies. They have brought great glory to our nation.”
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
My grandmother was a little girl during World War II. She was in Poland with her family. A few times she has told us the story of when the Nazis were bombing their area. Her family went out into the fields and laid down since they could not stay in their house. She was only three years old and her older sister was supposed to be taking care of her, but somehow they got separated. My grandmother, like any other person, was terrified by the planes that were flying so low that you could see the pilots. She was wearing a red dress and stood up to scream.
There were also Russian soldiers in the field with them and one of them told her to lay down, but she did not understand Russian! Then and there, a true hero arose, one who loved another more than himself. The Russian soldier covered my grandmother with his body to save her life. My grandmother does not know if the soldier was killed or not, but she and the rest of us are indebted to this man and are so thankful for his love sacrifice. This was true love … this was his offering.
We all have different gifts and callings as members of the Body of Messiah, which means we all have different kinds of offerings. Your offering may look completely different than my offering, but that does not mean that either one is less of an offering! For some, the offering may be that of a soldier who fights (and dies) in wars for his countrymen … for others, it may be doing a chore for a sibling. Both are offerings! In Matthew 25 there is the parable of the master who gives his servants the talents. In the same way, YHWH gives us each something … what we do with it is what really counts.
We were all given the priceless gift of eternal life when we accepted Yeshua, so why don’t we ask ourselves today what our offering is? How can we bless others and bring glory to Him? As this new year unfolds before us, why don’t we seek to go the extra mile … to do the unexpected and step out of our comfort zone when we might want to run and hide? Let this be our offering!