To follow up from last week's post on Timidity, here's what God asked me to share last Sunday to introduce tithes and offerings. Thought I'd share it because I loved reading over Genesis 22 to prepare (that's where I shared from) and I love the pouring out of our lives as an offering and I love writing (way more than speaking in front of people).
Firstly, Genesis 22 is a picture of Jesus. Woot. God asked Abraham to give Isaac in sacrifice. His one and only son. This foreshadowed what He would do in giving Jesus to the world. And I love that this is only a God-thing... I think only God could ever do that - give His son. God stopped Abraham and God provided a ram to sacrifice instead.
We don't give animal sacrifices anymore because Jesus was the last sacrifice needed… the last shedding of blood. Through Jesus, we are completely sanctified (made holy) so we can know God.
But what we do give is our lives as living sacrifices, poured out as an offering to God (Romans 12:1). Not to make us holy, but to worship Him.
In Genesis 22, Abraham and Isaac are going to the place for the sacrifice and Isaac sees the tools - the wood and fire and knife - but not the actual animal. He asks his father about this, and Abraham replies, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." There's that beautiful picture of Jesus. What stood out to me was: God provides to us whatever it is He asks us to offer back to Him. He's our Provider for the things we need for ourselves, and He's our Provider for the things we need to be obedient to Him. Money to give, faith for healing, boldness to do, words to speak, energy and time for others, joy and peace to pass on... And that's grace.