Nothing But The Finest

 “When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it.” – Leviticus 2:1

God commanded the Israelites to bring grain offerings. This grain represented a special way they depended on Him. The grain they offered required good soil, the right seeds, the right amount of water and nourishment, time spent rooting out weeds, and protection from storms. After so much work, farmers knew their harvest was precious. They could be tempted to keep the grain for themselves. But by making this offering, they recognized that they owed their entire harvest to God. It was the byproduct of His blessing. This could not be ordinary flour but had to be only the finest, best flour. By bringing this grain, they recognized that God controlled their destiny. They depended on Him for everything. The grain offering provides an important model for us. In our own ways, we can look at our resources, think about all we have invested, and be tempted to keep the best for ourselves. But we need to understand that these offerings are key to entering a world of blessings. They open the door to God’s favor. Remember, you, too, owe everything to God. When you make an offering, you are acknowledging that you need Him. You are celebrating His faithfulness. You believe His promises. These offerings are investments. Dedicate yourself to investing in God’s Kingdom. As you sow seeds, you will learn how much you can trust God. Always be sure to give Him your best.

Read Leviticus 2

TAKE UP YOUR CROSS

 “He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’” – Mark 8:34

Crowds gathered to hear Jesus. Convinced He was a wise man, many were eager to hear Him teach, or see Him perform miracles. But how many really believed that He was the Son of God? Jesus knew many would “fall away,” and stop following (Matthew 26:31). Even His disciples failed to understand. He explained that He would “suffer many things.” He would be rejected and killed, and “after three days rise again” (v. 31). But they didn’t understand. Peter even rebuked Him for this teaching. But Jesus responded, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (v. 33). Then Jesus taught a fundamental truth: No one even could come after Him unless they denied themselves, took up their cross, and followed Him. Jesus was providing a gateway to growing in faith, understanding spiritual truths, living in victory, and havingba transforming Christian life. Many say they are Christians but do not pass this test. They assume they can follow Jesus but live like the world. But in every circumstance, Jesus calls us to take the narrow road, to lay everything aside and follow Him, wherever He leads. God wants you to find meaning and fulfillment. He will take away your fears and worries. He wants you to overflow with joy and live in victory! The path is to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him.

Read Mark 8