Sacrificial LoveWhat does it mean for you to carry your cross?
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“Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies (v.8).
Here are some things people might say to excuse
themselves from worshiping and serving God:
“I feel unappreciated.”
“I don’t want to do it.”
Would we use such excuses with our employers? Hmm
. . . I doubt it. So why is it that we dare to use them with
God? That was exactly God’s question to His people in
The Israelites were dishonoring God’s name by
bringing defiled sacrifices to Him. They were supposed
to bring their best, but they were choosing to present
their worst—animals that were diseased and not whole
(vv.7-8). By giving Him worthless offerings and ignoring
His laws concerning acceptable animal sacrifices
(Leviticus 22:17-25; Deuteronomy 15:21), they showed
how little they thought of Him.
So God said, “Try giving gifts like that to your governor,
and see how pleased he is!” (Malachi 1:8). Here the Lord
gives us a valuable test to determine how well we’re going
about our service to Him: Are we trying to present to God
the things we wouldn’t dare present to a human leader?
One Bible teacher pointedly questions: “How can we
possibly have less respect for the King of kings than we
do for the political powers who are appointed by Him?”
God is not only the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, He’s also
our Father and Master. We’re to love and honor Him. As we read the Lord’s
message to Israel of old, we should ask ourselves: Are we giving God our
leftover time and energy—our second-best? Or our best?
“A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your
Father and Master, where are the honor and respect I deserve?” (v.6).
Is God saying this to you today?
—Poh Fang Chia
In what way could you be showing contempt to God today? What does
it mean for you to offer Him your best?
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