Giving back: Numbers 29:1-6

puzzle

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” -Stuart Townend

Read Numbers 29:1-6

Offerings to the Lord made by fire. When something is consume by flames it is completely destroyed. It is completely lost. When we make an offering to the Lord there is nothing left for us to keep for ourselves.   It is all gone. We are not mutual recipients of the offering. The offering is made to the Lord at our cost and loss and for his gain and pleasure. This kind of giving is painful but it is not hurtful. God is not taking pleasure in watching you lose the things that you love. God does not demand this kind of offering simply to impose his authority over our lives and possessions.

The design of a Holy offering pleasing to the Lord contradicts the thinking of the world which asks, “What do I get out of this?” A Holy offering to the Lord is made by and through transformation. It is only when we have been personally and intimately confronted by the presence of the living God that we are able to understand giving in this way. Upon this encounter with the living God we begin to redefine words such as loss, gain, thanksgiving and sacrifice. Willingly offering up a valued possession to never see it again is a painful loss if we measure our value in this world by the possession of that object. However, in Jesus, wouldn’t we rather lose all we own to know him and be known by him? Acquiring things, objects, property, money is only meaningful if the acquisition of such things adds to our life as we know it. However, in Jesus, we know that all things in this world will pass away except for the eternal promises we have in Jesus. What does it mean to be thankful? What moves us to make thanks-giving? Does our thanks possess a short-term memory or an eternity mindset? Temporary gains will produce shallow and fleeting thanksgiving. Eternal gains will produce comprehensive and ongoing thanksgiving. Do you know what you have in Jesus? Your eternal debt was paid in full and the limits placed upon your life by death were destroyed. You have life now. You can live! To live forever eternally loved and accepted is yours in Jesus, because of Jesus. The revelation of the Gospel creates in a person a limitless and never-ending spring of living water and joyful thanksgiving. What does it mean to sacrifice something you hold dear? Why does it hurt so much to let something go? It hurts because we view the things we love in this world as puzzle pieces that complete us. When we lose a puzzle piece, part of us disappears and we feel incomplete. But what if what we needed was an entirely new puzzle, a new creation. And what if this new puzzle only worked to add pieces to the image with the promise that none will ever be taken away.   Piece by piece we are becoming more whole and more who we were designed to be. This is our promise. This is the Gospel. This is ours because of Jesus. This is because of the cross. Seeing Jesus crucified frames our “loss” and “sacrifice” revealing it to be nothing in comparison to hiss. To offer anything in the name of Jesus is not to lose but always to win. To give back what was never ours is to rightfully honor the Father who has given us eternally more than we could ever give back.

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