Hey there, Relentless Students! This is day 21 of our 30-day Devo. We will continue the practice of serving those around us.
Our verse for today is found in Hebrews 13:16 which says,
"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
How familiar are we with the idea of sacrifice? Do you know what took place in Biblical times for a proper sacrifice that the writer would be pointing towards? There was more than one kind of sacrifice, but they were all meant to be offerings to God for either His goodness or to atone for their sins. Sacrifices were of two kinds: 1. Unbloody, such as (1) first-fruits and tithes; (2) meat and drink-offerings; and (3) incense. 2. Bloody, such as (1) burnt-offerings; (2) peace-offerings; and (3) sin and trespass offerings. For us, we don't have to continue giving sacrifices like these, because Jesus has fulfilled them for us with His ultimate sacrifice. So, what should we be doing?
Good works with the interest of overs at the forefront of our minds. It's clear that God sees our sacrifices of time, energy, and resources as a valuable offering of thanksgiving for what He has done for us. When we do this we are participating in the idea of tithing. Now, when you hear tithing I know your mind goes straight to the money, because that is typically what is talked about. The thing is tithing so more than just money. It's about how we use our resources. Everything we own is thanks to God. If God didn't create the world we live in, the animals, the plants, our minds, then there would be nothing for us to even own. So, God is the ultimate provider. What does He ask in return? Generosity. He asks that we would use our time, energy and resources in a way that glorifies Him and helps those around us.
So, when we do good works and share we are giving of ourselves to God. This is a sacrifice of the "first fruits" or tithe. With that in mind, it may be hard for you to give money, that's okay. Give of your time and energy then. Help those around you, even if it's not how you want to spend your Saturday. As you participate in generosity you will grow generous habits. Thus, as you have more resources like money you are more likely to continue to give in a way that is pleasing to God. His goal is that we wouldn't hold onto our possessions, but give freely and trust Him to provide as we do so. Do good, share what you have and let it be a pleasing sacrifice unto God.
Your challenge today is to find a way to serve those around you. If you need ideas hit me up, or ask your parents, or ask those around you how you can help. When you don't ask then you don't know what needs there are out there.
Our prayer today,
God, we thank you for your sacrificial love. Thank you for providing the ultimate sacrifice with through your Son. We praise you for setting us free from our sins. May we return your love with sacrifices of our own through our time, energy and resources. Help us to look more like you each and every day. Use us to help those around us in need. We pray all of this in your Son's holy name, Amen.