Title: Bringing God an acceptable offering

Focus: Bringing God an acceptable offering involves bringing him what pleases him. This offering expressess that you place God above all else in life. God is interested most of all in this, not in the offering itself.

Function: To motivate the hearers to put God as the number one priority in their life

Text: Lev 1

1.  Beginning of Leviticus - God speaks from the Tent of Meeting
2.  Begins appropriately with sacrifices - How to approach God
3.  Chap 1-7 about the offerings
4.  Will begin with Burnt Offering (Chap 1)
	a.  Donor’s part
		- Select an unblemished male from the herd
		- Lay hand on the head
		- Slay at doorway
	b.  Priest’s part
		- Sprinkle blood around altar & doorway of tent
		- Skin and cut into portions
		- Stoke the fire
		- Wash entrails
		- Arrange parts on the altar
		- Offer it all up as smoke on the altar
		- (6:8-13) - Keep fire burning all night, carry away ashes
	c.  Alternative Offerings
		- Could also be from the flock
		- Could also be from the birds
	d.  Purpose and character of offering
		- Atonement (At - one - ment)
			- Doesn’t say for sins, there is later a sin offering
		- A “soothing” (pleasing) Aroma
			- (Gen 8:20-22 - Apparently to express thanks?)
5.  Several things we can learn

I.  Not called a sacrifice, but an offering
	A.  The Hebrew word is “korban” means gift, or offering
	B.  Characteristics of a gift
		1.  Don’t think of it as a sacrifice
			a.  Sacrifice is something you do out of duty
			b.  Often, rather not give it up
			c.  Feel a sense of loss
			d.  Gift is optional, and expresses goodwill and joy
		2.  (2 Cor 8:1-6) - Example of joy of giving
		3.  Burnt “offering” is about giving “to” not giving “up”
		4.  Want to make sure it is something good and pleasing
			a.  Domestic, not wild animal found by road
			b.  Something you have been working at raising
			c.  Was to be unblemished - The best
	C.  ILL:  A Grandmother had several grandchildren
		1.  She had lots of nice things
		2.  One grandchild always got used stained second hand gifts
		3.  Other’s in the family NEVER did
		4.  What did not communicate to this grand daughter?
	D.  What doour gifts communicate to God?
		1.  Do we give hime “leftover” or “2nd hand”?
		2.  Maybe give him nothing
		3.  Or do we give him all?

II.  It is a “whole burnt” offering
	A.  All of it was consumed by fire in smoke
		1.  Imagine, visualize smoke ascending to the cloud
		2.  Offering consumed by fire, a symbol of God’s holiness
		3.  Fire burn all night, nothing left
	B.  This says something about the cost of discipleship
		1.  Question:  Who owns you?
		2.  No one!!!   Hate to be “owned” by anyone
			a.  (Ps 24:1) - The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains
			b.  (Exod 19:3-6) - All earth is mine, but you special treasure
			c.  (1 Cor 6:19-20) - You bought with price, not your own
		3.  We ourselves are an offering to God, a slave
		4.  We are living sacrifice
	C.  ILL:  Movie where king demonstrate to visitors loyalty of his subjects
		1.  Told one to stab fellow slave, then to stab self
		2.  The servant had not will of his own, only that of the master
		3.  But would God ever ask you to do anything remotely similar?
			- What did God tell Abraham to do? - Gen 22
			- What did God have Jesus do?  Jn 3:16
			- We to be willing to lay down life for brethren  1 Jn 3:16
	D.  Good news - God not an oppressive dictator
		1.  1 John declares God is love
		2.  Psalmist invites us to taste and see the Lord is good
		3.  We have been “bought” “redeemed” by a Lord
		4.  Means we are holy - We exist to serve God and him only

III.  God not concerned with price tag on the offering
	A.  ILL:  Halmoony had only one cow - To offer it would wipe her out
	B.  There was a selection of offerings
		1.  Burnt offering from Herd, Flock our Bird
		2.  Could offer a grain offering (chapter 2)
		3.  So if you couldn’t afford a cow, could use smaller offering
			a.  Still offered up as smoke
			b.  Still a “soothing aroma” (identical wording)
		4.  God concerned with the heart, not the offering itself
			a.  (Isa 1:10-15)  Why?  (1:2-3; 16-17)
			b.  (Mic 6:6-8) - God concerned not with ritual but heart
			c.  (Mt 9:13) Hos 6:6 - Delight in lovingkindness not sacrifice
	C.  God not interested in empty ritual, but heart felt ritual
		1.  Whole earth is his anyway
		2.  Going to hen house not make you a chicken
			- Going to sanctuary not make you a Jew
			- Going to Church not make you a Christian
	D.  (Rom 2:27-28) About heart that motivates outward expression
		1.  Can attend, sing, Lords Supper, give, - Not make you Christian
		2.  Can but on best suit, put on best show - not make you Christian
		3.  You may be a Bull worshipper, or bird, or even grain
		4.  God not concerned with size of gift, but size of your heart

1.  Bottom line - We belong to God
2.  Whole burnt offering shows it all belongs to Him
3.  How are you an offering to God?
4.  Invitation