Leviticus 27:14 ‘And when a man dedicates his house to be holy to the Lord, then the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.
This is a chapter about pledging vows to God and thus, a chapter about the heart … your heart and mine … And God’s heart toward us. God is very concerned with the condition of our hearts … Not so much our physical, beating hearts, but the driving center of our being. The Hebrew word for heart is Leb, formed from two Hebrew letters, Lamed-Bet. Hebrew was originally a picture language and though the letters have changed form over time, the pictures remain pertinent. Lamed is a picture of a goad. Goads were pointy sticks set at the front of plows or hand held by the plowman to move oxen forward and in the right direction. The meaning of Lamed (lah-med) is “control.” Beth (bayt) is a picture of a “house.” So the Hebrew word for heart, Leb, means “what controls the inside.” When you truly understand God’s love for you, you cannot help but love and worship Him. A heart that is filled with the Love of God will reflect the love of God in it’s own outflow.
Psalm 45:1 My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
In Psalm 45, rachash, Hebrew meaning “overflowing,” is a picture of a fountain … of water in a fountain being stirred up to something moving and vibrant; an image of being so full of the Lord that you overflow with His praises. I want to overflow the goodness of God into the lives of others. But the heart without Jesus is corrupt and from it flows corrupt things. Jesus, when confronting the Pharisees over their rejection of Him, said to them:
Matthew 12:34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The Bible says that all have sinned and that sin is corrupting … and it says that what is in our hearts will always flow out . We find the evidence of what is in our hearts by our words, our actions, our very focus in life.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
The difference then is not per-say in what we want to speak and do, but rather the source from which our hearts are filled. I want to be filled up with the things of my Lord, so that my speech and life spill over with worship for the Lord, so then I make sure that I am being filled through receiving teaching, personal devotion time, worship, prayer and service. If we truly understand just what Jesus has done for us, then we will be filled with love and adoration for Him, we will desire to keep being filled with the things of God and our words and actions will evidence that.
Romans 12:2 says that we will “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” when our minds are not conformed to the world but rather transformed by God.
If we are filled with the things of our Lord, then those things will flow out of us. After we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God has a work in that and we have a work in that … God will transform us and we submit to Him and His work in us. Jesus said in Luke 6, that the tree is known by it’s fruit and the right response of a person who has been saved by grace is to live for the Lord. The vows spoken of in Leviticus 27 were all voluntary. The chapters prior to this one contain the reasonable expectations and this chapter is about going the extra mile. An understanding of what Christ did for us should push us to go beyond the simple expectations and, as Paul would say:
Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Salvation is by grace through faith, but faith that is not moving is dead. There is a personal responsibility to press into the works of God, as illustrated to us in the fact that the previous chapters were all mandatory and this chapter is voluntary. A servant who simply does what is required of him, may stay in the Master’s good graces, but he will receive no reward, having only done that which was required. Remember in the Parable of the Talents how the lord reacted to the servant who buried his talent and returned back to him only what was expected? He was called a wicked and lazy servant and what little he did have was given to the more faithful servant. A servant who goes above and beyond what is expected is the better servant who will be rewarded. This isn’t a striving kind of thing, rather it is the desire of one who understands the peril from which Jesus saved him.
Psalm 116:12 What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me?
Paul, wrote in the first verses of Romans 12, wrote of reasonable service, begging believers to present their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. A person who has indeed submitted their lives to Christ will desire to do something for God. And maybe you say, “It’s ridiculous to think we can do anything for God” and yet we have the words of Jesus, the words of scripture … which time and again tell us that service is to be rendered unto God and that being the kind of service that is beyond the simple, reasonable expectations. Let’s understand that we are talking about the redeemed and not someone who has never accepted Jesus. Salvation is by grace through faith and is characterized by repentance and submission to the will of God; Hist will being good and therefore submission to His will being the best state that a person can be in. An unsaved person, apart from being used by God, can do nothing of himself for God:
John 15:5 (NKJV) “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
So, we are specifically talking about those people who have submitted their lives to Christ; those who by grace have been saved through faith, who have submitted themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you done that? If not, now is a great time to repent and call on the Lord Jesus for salvation, submitting yourself to Him. God will accomplish much through those who present their lives before Him and those who are submitted to Christ will receive forgiveness for sin, salvation, and live an incredible, amazing adventure in faith. Grace truly is amazing!