Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 66)
Giving What God Hates
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 15:8, 21:27 (NKJV)*
I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
Your assemblies are a stench to Me.
Even though you bring me... offerings,
I will not accept them...
Away with the noise of your songs...
Amos 5:21-23 (NIV)
'The multitude of your sacrifices,
What are they to me?' says the Lord...
Stop bringing meaningless offerings!...
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies...
They have become a burden to Me;
I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide My Eyes from you;
Even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Isaiah 1:11,13-15 (NIV)
What if our gifts, alms, tithes and offerings were valued as less than nothing to God? What if He called them abominations? What if our great churches or assemblies were discarded as worthless collections? What if He called them noisy and noxious?
Clearly, God hates religious hypocrites. Therefore, introspection is in order. Have we put our carts before our horses? Because if our carts carry gifts for God, and if our horses walk by His power, have some of us stalled out by the wayside? Has our religion become roadside trash?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Church attendance and proud positions, big donations and rule adherence, won't be admitted as evidence when we face 'The judgment seat of Christ' (2 Corinthians 5:10). God's criteria are different.
'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me' (Matthew 25:40).
'Pure and undefiled religion in the Sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress...' (James 1:27).
'For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings' (Hosea 6:6).**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Your performances in media are beautifully presented gifts to countless numbers of love-starved fans. And when they look beyond your talent, they will see beautiful behavior: a joy, peace, kindness and compassion, a willingness to reach out to them that's unusual and engaging.
I believe your gift of going forth bearing the Good News of Jesus Christ is giving what God requests and loves.
To Be Continued...
* Short article on Proverbs 15:8: http://www.letgodbetrue.com/proverbs/commentaries/15_08.php
** Short article: Why does God desire mercy and acknowledgement of Him instead of sacrifice (Hosea 6:6)? http://www.gotquestions.org/mercy-not-sacrifice.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.