March 29, 2018 Give Thanks

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Malachi 1:8 Offering Defiled Sacrifices

“When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 1:8

God was asking the priests why they were showing contempt for Him and not giving Him honor. They asked how they were showing contempt. He told them that they were offering defiled animals for their sacrifices. They were doing something to God that they would not do to their governor.

Until the time of Jesus people had to offer animals for sacrifices to God for various reasons. Some were offered for sins done, others for thanksgiving, and others for blessings and honoring. Once Jesus came the offering of animal sacrifices was done away with. He became the one sacrifice salvation from sin for all men, for all time.

Although Jesus is the sacrifice for sins, there are other sacrifices that believers can offer God today. These can be sacrifices of worship and praise, time, money and talents. Any time a person gives God something it is a type of sacrifice. It is giving up something that the person has to God.

However, giving of these things can also be given in contempt and not honoring to God. There are people who go to church every Sunday morning and during the worship time, just barely say the words of the songs. They say the words of worship and praise, but not from the heart.

Or they give money in the offering plate, while wishing that they did not have to give it. They give out of obligation or to look good, not from a cheerful heart.

Some will give time to work in a ministry, but do not give it their best work. They are late for Sunday School class. They did not study for the lesson. They grumble about having to do it.

All of these things would not be done for a boss at work. Most people give better time and effort at work, then they do to God.

Take a look at your own life and see how you are treating God. Are you giving God your best? Or are you holding back some?

Do not give God the leftovers, but give Him the first and best. He will provide for you and redeem what you have given.

I pray today that you will love God with all your heart; that you will give your best to God; that you will know God’s provision for you; and that your sacrifices to God will be an honor to Him.

Jeremiah 10:7 No One Like Him

Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. Jeremiah 10:7

Over the years, there have been various leaders who have risen up to be considered great leaders. Some of these were leaders of nations, others were leaders in the business world or in the church. Some of these leaders are known to most people in their nation and sometimes even around the world, while there are many other leaders who are never known outside of their small sphere of influence.

One of the common things among all the great leaders that have ever existed is that they each gave of themselves for a greater cause. They were able to take a bad situation and turn it around. The wisdom of some of them in the way they led is astounding to most people.

Yet, as great as all these people were and are, there is no one that is completely like God, Himself. God is the one who made the heavens and the earth, and everything in them both. He created every person and gave them breath to breathe.

Think about how great the universe is and how many things and people there are on this earth. The amount is overwhelming to think about, yet, God has perfect control of everything that is going on.

And what leader is willing to give of himself in order to save a group of people who hate and despise him? God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His own life in order that they may live, and this was done while everyone hated Him.

As you realize what God has done for you and everyone else,  you need to give Him all the praise. Fear only Him. Trust in God for everything. He is the wisest and the best. Do not look to the leaders of this world, they will fail and lead you wrong, God will not.

Along with praising Him, strive to be like God. Be a leader as God is a leader. Put the needs of others first. This shows God’s true love, compassion and mercy for every person on this planet.

I pray today that you will know God as your leader; that you will follow God in all His ways; that you will fear no person on this earth; and that you will strive to be a leader that leads as God does.

Psalm 138:1 Praise With Heart

I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. Psalm 138:1

Going through the motions is a common practice of most people. People go to work each day and do the job they are required to do, but most are not excited about going to work. It is just something that they must do. They need money to buy the needed food and pay for the housing, so they must work.

Children go to school each day, because they are forced to go. Most children would not step foot in school if they did not have to do so. Those that would go to school, mainly go to be with their friends, not to learn.

The common thing in these situations are that people are not putting their heart in what they are doing.

Sadly this can often happen in the church. On Sunday mornings during worship, many sing the songs of praise just because that is what they do on Sunday mornings. Even throughout the week a person may be playing music from a Christian radio station, but are just hearing the music, not really listening or worshipping God.

Putting your heart into something means that you are giving it all you have to do it. You are not leaving anything behind.

David said that he would praise God with all of his heart. He was giving God everything he had.

The heart is what pumps the blood through the body. It is what gives the body life.

Each time that you choose to give God some praise, it must be done with all of your heart. Give life to your praise. Do not do it as just another ritual that must be done. Anything that is done as a ritual is dead and lifeless.

Anyone in the world who sees a dead, lifeless praise will not want to be a part of it.

When God hears a dead, lifeless praise coming from a person, He knows it does not mean very much.

How is your praise to God today?

Is it coming from your heart?

Is it alive with excitement and joy?

Or is it just a ritual, that is lifeless and dead?

I pray today that you will be filled with the joy of the Lord; that you will sing praises to God from your heart; that you will put all of your heart into your praise to God; and that you will have a song of praise in your heart all day long.