Psalm 4:4,5 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. SELAH Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
Psalm 51;16-18 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do
Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
Proverbs 21:3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD the sacrifice.
Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Matthew 9:13 “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Mark 12:33 “And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Hebrews 13:15-16 Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit lips that acknowledge His name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Growing up, my brother and I always had chores assigned to do. The chore we both hated was to take the trash out to the garage in the evenings. The problem was the darkness and going into the darker garage to the trash cans. We both used to barter to trade that chore. When it was my turn to take the trash, I would try to ensure I took it down while it was still light outside; after many scary tales being told around campfires, or playing outside in the dark–we knew there were ‘bogeyman’ alive and well. I had no idea what a bogeyman looked like–but there was an underlying sureness, a knowing, that one was alive and well.
As brave as my brother and I tried–even pretended to be–we hustled up the stairs back into the living room, and the light. But kids tend to have a love-hate relationship with darkness. We love to hear the few minutes of tales of scary stories, feel the fear growing and building, but afterwards, you still have the niggle uneasiness of fear, then you prefer the light, the reassuring light. Safety comes in the light. You’re reassured that you’re safe in the light.
Part of having the chores, we got allowances and it was expected we would put part of our allowance money (sacrifices) into the church plate for collections. So sacrificing a bit of money to God was something I was always comfortable with. I did not know the word tithe until later, but grasped onto its full meaning once I learned it, and adjusted my budget to incorporate it.
“Sacrifices are a way to outwardly express the inward condition of your heart. Sacrifices in the Old Testament were not only meant to provide atonement for sin but also served as an opportunity to express thanksgiving and gratitude to God. However, when God’s people gave outward sacrifices with an unrepentant heart, it angered God because he cares more about the heart condition than an outward superficial sacrifice.” (Bible to Life, Adda Frick, Published Nov 27, 2023)
At times it was a little scary. Generally I had less than $18 each week until pay day. How do I tithe when I already had little left? I was not confident, but I was determined. For a month, I would give 1/10 of income to the church weekly. It was scary, but I was determined to to give this a month’s try. At the time, I was not confident God loved me–even knew me–let alone was willing and certainly able to protect me, care for me, provide for me, and keep His promises. The month continued and I had about $67 at the end of the month. Rather than be just grateful and trusting, I looked for differences in the bills. Electric bill was a little lower as we were getting into the spring season, longer days–maybe that was the difference. Each month I had a little money left over–this was a difference and although not a great deal of money, it was a little something each month.
I got a raise, and determined to increase my giving each week to the church. Lo and behold, my monthly budget was able to grow, and I determined to put some away for Christmas gifts. God was providing–keeping His promise to provide for our needs even while the numbers did not add up. He provided.
As I was growing in my knowledge of God, His commands and desires for what He wanted and expected us to do, I realized He did not just want the sacrifice of weekly funds, He wanted more. My baseline heart is selfish, self-centered and not at all like the heart of Jesus. But after all He had given me He wanted sacrifices–more than money, He wanted true sacrifice–not money, not killing animals, He wanted my heart. Well, yuck, why would anyone want my selfish, bad natured heart?
But, He did. Well, He wanted a good and loving heart that loved Him and wanted to give themselves to Him. Could I do that? I think first and foremost of what I want and need; this would mean getting down deeper than I was willing to do. I am not altruistic and giving. But I knew what Jesus had done for me. Couldn’t I give to Him my heart’s desire to be His, to try to be better and more loving than the person I am. He wants me to be His sacrifice. But I knew I am not worthy to be a sacrifice, but it clearly states He wants our heart–our repentant, changing heart–our love, our commitment to Him as His sacrifice.
OK, but You do know You are getting short-changed in this deal, right God? But I committed. Has everything else in life gone smoothly? No, but have I been blessed? Yes, Do I have more blessings than I deserve? Yes. Is He always steady, dependable and giving? Yes.
I know He is with me all the time. I know He provides, He protects me and my family, and if anything ever happens, He is steady and with me. He will get me through whatever life hands out. All because I was willing to give Him the sacrifice of my repentant heart. He has been steady and guiding me through all that life hands out. I am so thankful to You, Lord, for all You have done for me and ‘mybellaviews.’
When Temptation Calls–Hang Up
Tithe if You Love Jesus–Anyone can Honk
A Sharp Tongue and a Dull Mind are usually found in the Same Head