I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
There are five Levitical offerings commanded by God in the Old Testament: The Burnt Offering, The Meat Offering, The Peace Offering, The Sin Offering, and The Trespass Offering. Moses was given direct instructions that when the people were coming into the land of promise, they were to give a heave offering unto the Lord – an offering by fire (Numbers 15:18-21). The heave offering is a type of peace offering – one of reconciliation between God and His people, and one of thanks for God’s provision. We do not have to sacrifice like they did in the Old Testament, but we are commanded to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God. “Reasonable Service” means “Acceptable Worship/Service.” Worship is more than singing in Church; it is living a lifestyle that is set apart and glorifying to God. “On fire for God!” We are his portion (Deuteronomy 32:9). A heave offering is a “separated portion.” It is the most holy portion; raised and lowered as an offering unto the Lord. We are to be a separated holy people unto God (Leviticus 20:26; 1 Peter 2:9). The first portion would be consumed by God, then the priest and people would take part.
Both God and man in that moment were experiencing communion, foreshadowing what Jesus would do on the cross, and what will one day take place in the marriage supper of the lamb when Jesus returns (Matthew 26:26-27). Jesus one sacrifice took care of every type of offering we would ever need to do. We are no longer trespassers in the throne room of God! When we worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24) we are as offerings of fire unto the Lord. As we lift our hands like a heave offering unto the Lord, or when we do that same work of reconciling others to the Lord, creating peace, it is like a sweet aroma unto the Lord! (1 Corinthians 2:15, 2 Corinthians 5:18). He inhabits the praise of His people! (Psalm 22:3) In Genesis 4:4, God looked with favor upon Abel’s offering, not only because He obeyed God’s instructions, but his heart was right before the Lord. He gave God his best, in thanksgiving for God’s goodness. He is worthy!