Devotional thoughts on Leviticus 22:17-25, 31-33
By Josh Cadwell
Around my house my children know that there are two kinds of clean. There is “Dad clean” and then there is “Mom clean.” Dad clean means things are picked up and orderly. Mom clean is more of a deep cleaning, white-glove test. My children know that what is acceptable to Dad is not acceptable to Mom.
As we grow into adults, we recognize what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. When it comes to our offerings to God, do we really take the time to consider what is acceptable?
What Is Acceptable
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were told, “Do not bring anything with a defect.” They were informed by God that there was such a thing as an unacceptable gift. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke on how we should approach giving: “When you give . . . do not announce it as the hypocrites do” (Matthew 6:2). Then Jesus told us how to bring an acceptable gift to God: “Your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (v. 4).
In both passages, God addressed the heart behind the offering. So when you read the teachings of the Old Testament along with the teachings of Jesus, you find what makes the gifts acceptable or unacceptable—it is our heart’s response to God. Our offering and the way we give our offering are reflections of the value our heart places on God. Ultimately the reason there are unacceptable offerings is because God is teaching us about himself, the kind of God he is, and the kind of offerings he deserves.
The Only Acceptable Gift
God is calling us to place value on what he places value on—a relationship with him. So what should I offer to God? What is acceptable in the eyes of God? My whole heart.
When God has my heart, he has what he’s truly after. Any other gift is unacceptable.
Josh Cadwell is the Lead Minister at Victory Christian Church in Franklin, Indiana. He and his wife, Becky, have four children: Caleb, Mikayla, Kalli, and Carter.