Daily Devotional, August 21st
The book of Malachi was written around 420 BC as a warning to the nation of Israel. God accused the priests of offering "defiled" sacrifices (Malachi 1:7). Specifically, He was concerned with the nation's direct disobedience in not giving Him their best (v.8), and for withholding the tithes He had commanded them to give for His work (3:8-14).
So what does this have to do with us? We don't bring God animal sacrifices. The death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ was the one-time sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 10:1-18). Malachi doesn't apply to us, right? Surely we're not guilty of giving God blemished sacrifices! Or are we?
Let's look at just a couple of areas where I give God "blemished sacrifices":
Time. I get up in the morning and have a hundred things to do. So I race into my day planning to take time to pray and read God's Word in a minute. All throughout the day, I sense a nagging urge to spend time with God. Eight or nine hundred minutes later I'm tired and ready for bed. Not only did I not give God second-best, I didn't give Him anything!
Money. There are so many things I need! I tell myself I'll give money to the Lord's work next month, when I can afford it. But the biblical principle is clear: God wants our best in every area. He doesn't need my money; He wants me to invest it in His work so that He'll have my heart. "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be" (Matthew 6:21).
Because of Jesus' once-for-all sacrifice, we don't sacrifice bulls and goats anymore. But God should still come first in every aspect of our lives, time, money, talent, friends, choices. What sacrifices do you need to make today? , Tim Gustafson, Our Daily Journey
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