Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops (Prov 3:9, NIV). I wrote the first post in this category some time ago, discussing that, though it is true we should give God our very best (i.e. the firstfruits), the process of our sanctification also demands that we give Him our very worst. These are things we cling to, sins we want to avoid dealing with, ungodly feelings and actions we justify, and secrets we keep from the rest of the world. Like the character Gollum, from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the things that we hold closest to our hearts can corrupt us. What is so “precious” to you that you cannot lay it down? For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt 6:21, KJV). Are there things that you hold dear, so dear, that you withhold them from God, even attempting to hide them from Him and others: “small” resentments…”little” bad habits…”slight” grudges, or more? Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrew 4:13, NIV). LORD, You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence (Ps 90:8, NIV). God wants us to divest ourselves of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). He wants freedom for us and He knows that holding on to the ways of the flesh enslaves us to sin. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:6-11). Yet, we struggle to let go. Our old “comfortable” ways result in spiritual and emotional dis-comfort. And still…while we are willing to offer our thanks, our praise, our money, our time and our service to the Lord, we often stop short of giving Him the ugliest parts of us – out of fear, shame or the desire to maintain the status quo. Yet, offering our “worst” to God would honor Him just as much, or more, than giving our best.
Over the next few months, I will periodically post in this category, Acceptable Offering, about some of those “precious” things that we may need to offer up to God. We are all in different places on our journey. We have had unique experiences (good and bad) that have helped form our ways of dealing with stress, disappointment, success, failure or just…life in general. Often, what we’ve learned from the World leads us to broken ways of navigating through life; and these are the topics I plan to post about: Pride (Part I), Pride (Part II), Idolatry, Gluttony & Greed, Slothfulness, Malice, Envy & Jealousy, Anger, Fear, and Rebellion. Now, this is one of those top ten lists you don’t want to be on, so we must all look closely at ourselves to see if we are entertaining these sorts of thoughts, words and behaviors. Sin, even in small amounts, interrupts our fellowship with God. This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:5-9). So let us demonstrate our love to Him by bringing Him all sorts of Acceptable Offerings…especially a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, [which He] will not despise (Ps 51:17).
JustAgirl…just like you!