Sunday, April 18, 2010
Two years ago, I set out to read the entire Bible in a year. I was doing great... until I hit Kings and Chronicles. 2 years later, I have finally (as of 3 nights ago) finished the entire old testament and am happily welcoming on the New one. While reading through the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) I was convicted. Side note: don't let today pass without reading this book ~ seriously!
Malachi 1 has this to say:
"I have loved you," says the Lord. A Son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests who despise my name. But you say 'How have we despised your name?' By offering polluted food upon my alter. But you say, 'How have we polluted you?' By saying the 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. For far from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations and in every place, incense will be offered to my name, a pure offering. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among nations.
Yeah, like I said... convicted. I left thinking about this: we are no longer bound to the rules of the old testament, there is grace and a NEW COVENANT with Jesus, but the call to sacrifice still remains. No, I'm not implying goats or sheep, our call to sacrifice is much deeper than that. For us, it's life. My question for me is this, my question for you is this: Are we serving God our leftovers? Who are we living for? Surely if we are followers of Jesus, then we are not living this life for ourselves. If then, we as believers, are living every day for ourselves or perhaps more realistically, 23 hours out of every day for ourselves, but offer God a measly hour of prayer and devotion... what then does this say of our faith? What does this say of our offering? Are we sold out? Are we living for ONE THING? Are we feasting in our own lives (devouring time, thought, action and desire as if it were ours in the first place) and giving God what is left?
Surely our Father deserves great honor, and our Master, fear. Is our sacrifice, life, polluted? Are you giving God the best in your life? Am I? Great is our King, holiness is what He deserves, your life is what He desires. Will you cheat him with your offering? Or will you give Him what is pure?
Great are You and great is Your faithfulness. Help me to be sold out. Help me to give You everything, help my offering to be pure. I wish to see Your true size. May I know how small I am. May I know how insignificant the things of this world truly are, and may my life be a pleasing offering to You. May You help Yourself to the things in my heart, in my head, in my life. May You feast. May I hold nothing back from You and may my offering be acceptable. I wish for You to be my One Thing. The Only Thing that I live for. Help me to know what this looks like, help me to live in accordance with this. You are faithful, oh You are faithful. Thank you for rising and setting the sun. Thank you for sending Jesus to pardon holiness upon me. May I know the weight of His sacrifice and may that be the story of my life as well. Help me to follow You, to pick up my cross, and to lay down my life. May You be my portion from this day on and forever more.