You and I have 3 very precious things that God’s given to us, so what can we offer back up to God?
There is one commodity you have that God can use that you might not even think about…and that’s your time. Your time is probably like a lot of people’s time…there is precious little of it, but if you are spending your time on the right things, then you are making good use of your time. You are being a good steward with what you have been given, and since none of us know when our last day will be, we must make the most of the time God has given us. Think of your time as an offering; unless we use our time wisely, we’ll spend it uselessly, like we tend to sometimes do with our money. I tried to take an inventory of how I spent my time during the week, but I didn’t even see the project through, but when I did read where I was spending most of my time, I was disappointed with myself. I was spending time doing little or nothing for God. It was an eye-opener to me. Do I spend more time on Facebook than having my face in “the Book?” Things like that bothered me, so I need to watch my time more carefully, and redeem it for God, and not for myself, because what time I spend not doing for God is usually spending time doing something that won’t matter in the kingdom.
I believe everyone has a talent of some kind. Many have several talents, but everyone has at least one talent, but probably more than one, but the point is, you have a God-given talent for something, perhaps something that can be useful for the Body of Christ (Matt 25:35-36). Whatever it is, you can use it for the glory of God and for Jesus Christ Himself (Matt 25:40). What is done for the least of those is done for Jesus, so what is your talent? I’m sure you have one. Maybe it’s your smile and positive attitude, and living a life of faith that others find attractive. Perhaps it’s a skill for listening and not judging, but just letting others talk. If could be in music, art, writing, plumbing, or just being a diligent person. These can all be used for the kingdom of God. When we stop and help the Samaritan, we are showing the love of God. When we can use our own time and resources, our generosity might point someone to Christ. Whatever talent you have, use it for the glory of God.
Our treasure is usually where our heart is. Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21). This is why the Lord said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt 6:19-20). Whatever you store up here will do no good for God, but whatever you do for God on earth you are storing up treasures in heaven. You can’t take them with you, but you can forward them ahead. In the Parable of the Talents, the master gave out talents before taking his far journey, so “To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away” (Matt 25:15). Then, “after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:19-21). The man with the two talent doubled his talents, but one man simply buried it, not using them for the Lord at all, so read what the master said to that man, “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed” (Matt 25:26). The master rebukes him, saying, “you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Matt 25:27-29). Jesus doesn’t expect us to double everything we have, but He does expect us not to bury our talents, but rather use them for His glory.
In the Old Testament, there were all sorts of offerings, but there was one offering that was special, and it was the peace offering, or freewill offering. It was the only offering that wasn’t commanded. The Keil-Delitzsch Commentary states that the most correct translation is “saving offering” (vol. 1, p. 298), because the burnt meal, and peace offerings were a sweet savor since it was not done for sin. The sin or trespass offerings are totally different. Yet another distinction is that the sin and trespass offerings were burnt outside the camp, emphasizing God’s disgust and aversion to sin, but at the same time signaling the separation which sin produces. The sinner, separated from God, could have no access to Him until he repented, and he was likewise separated from the community until cleansed of his trespass, but the peace offering or the “saving offering” did not have to be done outside the camp, indicating that this offering was not about sin. The peace offering was about their peaceful communion or fellowship with God. Today, we can be at peace with God because of Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).