Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pure Offerings


"‘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." Malachi 1.8

Ok. Half-hearted sacrifices: Evil. Not just irreverent, irresponsible and cheap. EVIL! i.e. When you tell God you’re surrendering, but just not quite everything: Evil. When you trust God with some areas of your life and not others: Evil. When you sing that He’s more than enough for you, but complain about your life so all your friends will pipe up and stroke your ego: Evil. No wonder Christ speaks so harshly against the lukewarm in Rev 3.16! We say one thing but do another (Is 29.13).

We wouldn’t offer “blind animals to the governor,” but we do it to God. We obey when it’s convenient! Imagine getting pulled over for speeding and explaining to the officer that today’s just not a good day for you to drive the speed limit… Yeah that’d fly. But somehow that’s our attitude toward the God of the universe!

Check it out. Piper has this to say about living whole-heartedly for Christ:
The purpose of God in creating the universe is to display the glory of His grace supremely in the suffering of His son. There's no way the world is going to see the supreme glory of Christ, except that we break free from the Disneyland of America and begin to live lifestyles of missionary sacrifice that look to the world like our treasure is in heaven and not on earth! It's hard to be a Christian in America. About the hardest place in the world. We hear arguments for Christianity like: "Isn't Christianity the good life? And if it's all a delusion, who cares? It's the good life!” WRONG! Paul could not possibly have said, "If we have hoped in Christ only for this life, we are most to be pitied," (1 Cor 15.19) if this is the good life!
Just think about the history of missions: The world now has some 1.3 billion people professing Christianity, all started from 12! How did we get there? Suffering. Sacrifice. The Church has been built on the blood of the martyrs. If you raised your hand and repeated a prayer, expect suffering! Pain, loss of a child, cancer, marital strife, demonic opposition, martyrdom, it's gonna come! Don't think it strange when it does! He paid His life for our salvation! How are they gonna see how satisfying He is in us, if we look like it's the computer game that's satisfying? Didn't He tell Paul that His strength is made perfect in weakness? (2 Cor 12.9)

How guilty are we of this! Two verses later in Malachi 1.10, God says, "Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you." How many church doors does God want to close today? How many churches are to God nothing but buildings with the word “Ichabod” written across them? (1 Sam 4.21; Eze 10.18)

Finally, Mal 1.11: “‘My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

THIS is my prayer.

No comments:

Post a Comment