Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sacrificing Your Best

We recently looked at Malachi chapter 1 and referenced the terms used to describe the relationship between God and His people (Father and Master). Today, I want to spend a little time thinking through verses 7 and 8 of Malachi 1. The Scripture reads as following:

By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. [The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mal 1:7–8.]

We enter into these verses from the questions God asked His priests "Where is my honor" and "Where is my reverence". God was not pleased with the sacrifices they were offering up to Him. In verses 7 and 8 above we see the details of their failures.

The offering had to be perfect, without spot or blemish. Bringing anything to the Lord's table that was less than the best was unacceptable. Do we do that today? Do we bring to God's table things that are unacceptable to Him? I am afraid that we do. 

A.W. Tozer said "The total life, the whole man and the whole woman, has got to worship God. Faith and love and obedience and loyalty and conduct and life—all of these are to worship God. If there is anything in you that doesn’t worship God, then there isn’t anything in you that does worship God very well. If you departmentalize your life and let certain parts of you worship God but other parts of you do not worship God, you are not worshipping God as you should."

I believe we have departmentalized our lives, just as Tozer said. Sunday mornings we have made it a plan that we are going to come to church to worship because it is the "right thing to do". I hope that it is not why people come to church. I hope that you enter the doors because you want to be there.

Let's talk about worship for a second. 

What is worship? Is it what we do when the band plays on Sunday morning? How about the idea that we cannot worship without the band and lights? Are you serious? Does it take someone banging on the drums to get you into a mode of worship? Does it take lights to get you into the mood to worship?

Worship is not an activity…it is a condition of the heart. We can sing, raise our hands, and fall prostrate on the ground and it not be worship. After all, the Old Testament provides example after example of an entire nation which participated in these activities. But they were condemned as false worship because they did not reflect authentic, worshipful hearts!

[So back to our text] God turns to the priests, who should have been the spiritual leaders of the land. The priests were not giving honor to God’s name; they were taking the best for themselves. They brought the poorest of the animals. 

God then says to them "Give that to your Governor and see what happens".  We would not dare give our place of employment the poorest of our work. We would not dare give our teachers the poorest of our work. Why? Because they would fire or fail us. It would effect our desires and goals. We would not have the money to buy that new 50" 4K LED TV.  We would not graduate and make that boat load of money.

You see how all of this is turning out? When we feel it effects our quality of living, we pay more attention to the quality of giving. 
We will never truly sacrifice to the Lord until we truly understand the big picture of where we are in God's Kingdom.

Where is your heart? Is it on the things of this world or on the things of God? Are you sacrificing your best to Him?


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