“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?” Prov. 21:27
Today’s Christian Daily Devotional
A while ago, I was invited to attend a church service by a friend. I am always searching to learn more about God so I gladly accepted. As soon as my foot hit the door, I was welcomed with friendly faces and warm hugs. My heart relaxed as I could hear the sounds of happy voices praising God in beautiful worship. Their voices were bouncing off the wallls, beconing me to walk in. As I neared the entrance of the auditorium, I paused to “take in” the atmosphere. My eyes scanned the room and it warmed my heart to see many people (from many different cultural and economic backgrounds) gathering together under one roof; it was a grand feeling. They all seemed to have one purpose, to worship God. Settling into my seat, I was hopeful to learn more about God and to get the tools I needed to develop a deeper personal relationship with Him. As the pastor walked onto the stage, silence filled the air. It was as if Jesus Himself was on the stage. You could hear the feathers in the woman’s hat in front of me blowing in the air. When he spoke, every word seemed to get the crowd into a tizzy. “Oh, God is getting ready to bless you…” he pumped up the crowd and then stood back for a moment to bask in the excitement he created. “God is getting ready to bless you!” “Are you ready to be blessed? Are you ready for God to bless you?” This preacher in the slick suit and squeaky shoes kept pressing forward, his shiny capped teeth glaring from the lights on the stage. It was almost as if he was dangling a King Size Snickers Bar just an inch out of a nine year old’s reach. My eyes scanned the crowd. They were hungry. Their eyes were wide and they wanted whatever it was that this pastor was trying to sell. I got a nudge from the person next to me. An offering plate was thrust quickly into my hands. The preacher continued, “selling” his message. “God will bless those who bless others. If you bless God’s church, He has guaranteed in His word that you will be blessed in return.” At that moment, Prov. 21:27 came to my mind. What could be more corrupt than trying to “bribe” God into blessing you? God is GOD. If a person’s motives for giving money to the church are corrupt; then God is not fooled. By no means am I discouraging anyone to financially support his or her church. It takes a lot of funds, time and effort to reach out to a hurting world and show love in action. But, when you do give, ask yourself why you are giving. If the reason is anything that is selfish, get right with God. Bribes are insulting to a God that loves justice.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for being a just and fair God. Righteousness is what protects us from destruction. I want to humble myself before you. I need you to clean my heart. There is so much corruption and filth in this world around me, I know my own personal value system has been affected. Lord, I want you. I am not going to try to “bribe” you to bless me. I just want you. Your presence alone is blessing enough. Lead me to the places of ministry that have men of God really working for you, and show me how I can be a blessing to them in either service, my time, prayers or money. Lord, I will not hold back from you anything you want from me. I give to you with a heart that wants to give me something that will not make you sick. In Jesus’ precious name, forgive me for my selfish mind-set, Amen.”