July 18 Devotional

It seems we are very concerned today with the “things” we “do” for God.  We call our music worship, even though many times we sing without thinking about the deep significance of the words.  We give our tithe (what is expected of us), as though we are paying the local tax-collector.  We serve in ministries many times, just to say that we were there and paid our dues for the week.  We raise our children according to a set of rules that others will think is appropriate, without teaching them the value of following that rule.  We just go through the motions of “spirituality” without having any deep motivation to please God.

 

In the first chapter of the book of Isaiah, God clearly gives His feelings about offerings made from the hands … not from the heart.  He said, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me?’ saith the LORD: ‘I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of the goats’” (Isaiah 1:11).  Think about it for a moment … what does God need with a ram; or a beast; or a bullock, lamb or goat?  He does not need, or desire those things.  He made all those things; He can have as many as He wants.  Here is the lesson that those in the Old Testament missed, and we often miss still today.  God is not interested in the “things” we give Him – He is interested in the heart we give it with.  The widow’s mite in the New Testament meant more than all the riches the others had given.  The lad’s lunch that fed the 5,000 was more valuable than 200 day’s pay.  The alabaster box of ointment was far more valuable than any monetary amount that could be placed on it. Let’s get personal now.  Are we making sacrifices for God so that others will notice?  Are you teaching that class … singing that song … giving that offering … serving in your church simply so that others will notice you, or that God will notice what you’re doing so you can “cash in” later when you need a break?  If that is your motivation for service today, you are offering the same old goats that the children of Israel had offered, and God is full to the brim with them!  Offer what you have today out of a heart of absolute surrender, and whatever you are offering will please your Heavenly Father.  He desires your gifts, just like a father/mother enjoys those things their children have given them from their heart.  There is something about a gift given from the heart.  Make sure today that the things you are offering God come from your heart, not your pocketbook!

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