Sacrifice Your true Heart


Psalm 51:16-17       You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, do not despise. 

Proverbs 28:13     Whoever conceals hidden transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Jeremiah 7:21-23     “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, and add your burnt offerings to you other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves!  For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command.  Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.  Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 

Ezekiel 18:22-23     None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them.  Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that should turn from his way and live?

Hosea 6:6   For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. 

Matthew 9:13      Go and learn what this means:  ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’

Acts 8:22     Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

Hebrews 10:4-10     It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.  Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me, with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.  Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.”  First, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them—though they were offered in accordance with the law.  The he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.”  He sets aside the first to establish the second.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

1 John 1:9     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

In the Old Testament there were many, many laws.  I am sure I would have been sent from the disgrace and never to return.  I would not have been able to keep many of the laws and judgments.  But with all the laws and precepts and the additional laws the various religious leaders called for, they were all missing the point.  God did not want the “pleasing aroma” of a ox, sheep, goat, or grain or any other burnt offering.  He wanted the people to realize that a life, albeit an animal’s life, but a life had been given for THEIR sin.  They were responsible for the death of some innocent animal.  I would have been heart-broken to see this ceremony of even one, but to know that many were being slaughtered, would have been unbearable.

I cannot even imagine the terror for these poor creatures.  They could smell that blood and death, and it is not comforting.  I feel so badly when I think of how often this happened, the number of slaughtered creatures, and yet no one, it seems, realized it was for THEIR sin.  I am sure if it crossed their mind, it was with the thought, ‘I can continue to sin, there are more animals, and at least, for now anyway, I am forgiven.’  I don’t know if anyone got the point God was instilling.  ‘An animal, a living, breathing, innocent creature has to die for your sin—you need to truly repent and turn to Me and give Me your heart, to truly seek Me.’

Once Jesus came and the people closest to Him and the religious boastfuls saw Him and His actions and his free love, grace, and healing and forgiveness, they got angry.  They wanted this man GONE.  Afterall, they were able to suck funds from the coffers, they wore, impressive robes with all sorts of identifying, bragging paraphernalia on them.  They liked being watched, admired, envied and were so arrogant, they became infuriated with this upstart.  He had to go.  Certainly, all could see that He was causing ruckus after ruckus, and after all, ‘THERE ARE LAWS THAT MUST BE KEPT!’ 

But many of the people living in the area at the time were able to spend time with Him, and they were able to believe, or at least wondered with more of a leaning that He might truly be from God.  Afterall the Jews had waited for the Jews had waited for 4000 years for the Messiah.  I think many doubted he would ever come, so therefore, it was easy to discard the possibility, with all the miracles, healings, love, and grace shown to doubt.  Many in the Jewish faith are still waiting, although not all, as many have also believed in the Savior and lead others to the facts of Jesus.

But those who believed during the few months, about 36 that Jesus walked and talked, teaching and healing and saying things only God could say, performing miracles, and calling people to repentance, to go and sin no more, many, many of those believed.  Most were fairly simple men, not overly well educated, although a couple were, but they lived with him, loved him, followed him, and chose to stay with him.  He had touched their hearts, given their hearts.

And that is what God always wanted.  He wants our hearts.  He wants us to be fully repentant of our sins, truly seeking Him to follow and obey Him.  Verbal mutterings are not enough, just words.  He wants us to LOVE him, to seek him deeper and deeper, have a true relationship with him, to value his words, and his guidance, and to change our behavior to be more like him.

But giving him our heart is the only way to open the door to a relationship, a genuine following, and life of assurance, trust, truth, and growth.  Forgiveness and the knowledge you are loved more deeply that you can imagine. 

Oh, my Father, thank You for sending Your Son, the only sacrifice.  His death truly did free us from our sins, and it was not some ceremonial rite—this was a truly blemish free Lamb who took on all our sins, to give us eternal life with God.  Thank You for your amazing gift and sacrifice for me and ‘mybellaviews.’

 

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