“‘Present your bread made with yeast as an offering of thanksgiving. Then give your extra voluntary offerings so you can brag about it everywhere! This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,’ says the Sovereign Lord” (Amos 4.5 NLT).
Seeded in the Flesh
God’s Chosen People were continuing with their religious ceremonies that God had called them to long ago; however, their obedience had lost the true nature of repentance and worship. Instead of offering out of pure hearts, their intentions were all wrong. First, they were giving with a hollow hearts, merely as an act of religious norms. Second, they were giving so they could brag about their “righteous” deeds. Third, they were giving in order to manipulate God and gain His favor by human effort. But God saw right through their false intentions, and Amos uses sarcasm to describe their deceitful hearts. The sad truth is that two people can give the same sacrifice to the Lord, but they each can have contrasting motives. An outward fruit is always tied to either the flesh or to the spirit. Any sacrifice made for the Lord that is seeded in the flesh (our own efforts, our own interest, our own control) will be birthed in the natural, thrive in the natural and die in the natural world. But a sacrifice for the Lord that is seeded in the spirit in response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit will be birthed in the supernatural, thrive in both the supernatural and the natural world and continue into eternity. We must be very careful that we are listening to the Holy Spirit’s call to obedience and not to our own tactics of self-reliance. Our efforts may look pretty to the human eye, but God sees to the core of each of us. Any effort done outside of the will of God–no matter how good it looks–will have no lasting effect on eternity.
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53.6 NLT).