Give Me your heart
Jeremiah 17:9, 10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.
1 Chronicles 28:9 And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance for from it flows the springs of life.
Proverbs 21:2-4 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines the heart. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. Haughty eyes, a proud heart, ad evil actions are all sin.
Proverbs 23:15,16, 19 My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice! Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right. . . My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
God told the Israelites what He found sinful and unclean, and what He wanted them to sacrifice for each of the sinful areas. But atonement always involved some animal sacrifice and frequently some grain and oil additions to the animal sacrifice. But the animal sacrifices always meant death of an animal, albeit a bird, a lamb, goat, or ox.
This always bothered me–for many reasons. He created me to love animals, so using those poor little innocent baby animals was an atrocity to me. These poor critters had done nothing, and yet were being used to cover the sins of the people. Then I was aware of the stench and the fear that would be present for the animals because of the stench of blood, removal of organs, burning of the offal. I am also a nurse, so am aware how blood and death can at times stink, so I could only imagine how terrified these poor critters were. It burned a horrific picture in my brain.
Finally, it was pointed out to me that all these animal sacrifices were to impress on the sinners that because of what THEY had done, the sin THEY had committed, all these innocent animals were being slaughtered. And yes, much of it was given for food for priests and so forth, and yet God increased the animals and the people over the forty years they traveled in the desert. I was also surprised at that–they were frequently killing MANY, yet it seemed the herds never decreased. Although it still bothered me about so many animals killed as different offerings for the people, it was done to impress them, the sinner, that it was BECAUSE of them this innocent critter was killed. OH! Suddenly, all sorts of connections were made for me.
God was trying to teach them if they obeyed, there would not be a reason to slaughter. His plan–always–since we are sinners, was to have His only Son come to earth and then give up, sacrifice, His life for our sins. Jesus is/was the perfect Lamb and it was His sacrificial slaughter which was an atonement for OUR sins, and forgiveness and eternal life with Him is ours if we truly confess and repent of our sins, choose Him as our Savior and abide with Him. It is not necessarily giving up anything, or changing anything, except our hearts. God only wants us to give Him our hearts–that is the sacrifice He demands. A repentant, selfish heart turned over to Him in exchange for forgiveness and freedom forever. Our hearts are our life, and they command our desires–and because of selfishness and sinfulness, if not kept right, they pull away from God, and turn more and more to sin.
So, I have learned that many take a portion of something they “know” and then decide they do not want to “follow a God who can do that to all those innocent animals, people, etc.” Many choose that option and then will pay the eternal price for their choice. The sad part of that to me, is they have made a choice that affects their eternity out of a scant bit of information they do not fully understand or choose to learn about, cocky and confident enough in “their goodness” and yet that is not what will save them–their hell will be just as miserable as the worst of the sinners.
There is only one way to be saved, and that is in believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, came down fully human, healing many, raising from the dead, eliminating demons, feeding thousands and then chose to willingly be our sacrifice to free us from sin and hell as long as we believe in Him and make Him our Savior. With all He and the God trinity gave us from creation to all we see and experience, how can anyone choose not to believe. I am abundantly blessed to know more than He being my Savior–I know Him as my friend, I have a relationship with Him, and every confidence that He loves me, wants the best for me, and will be spending time with me in heaven for eternity.
Thank You for Your sacrifice for me and ‘mybellaviews.’