Wednesday, April 13, 2011
~ "'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home..."
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things (Acts 17:24-25)
What do you bring to the Lord as your sacrifice? No longer are we compelled to offer the sacrifices of our ancestors. Jesus offered that final "blood" sacrifice on our behalf. So, again I ask, what do you bring to the Lord as your sacrifice?
Many Christians find it only necessary to act as such when they show up for church on Sunday. I have even heard some say that they are "going to church to pray to God" or "to be with God". Their phrase "I have to go to church" fits right in with "I have to go to work". It's a chore to many, an obligation they really don't want to do, but do it because of some bent or twisted belief system that has become as reflexive as the patellar reflex and serves only to insure that they are still functioning. Some don't even know why they go - they just do it because they're told if they don't they will go to hell.
God does not live in churches. He is there (he is everywhere) but he is not restricted to a manmade building. He is not now, nor has he ever been (nor will he ever be) contained by anything! Nothing can hold him (as firmly evidenced by the resurrection). He wants for nothing. All things are his, as he has created them. So what could you possibly do or give to him that he cannot do or give himself? You!
He wants us to come to him - to lift up our hands in praise, our voices in song and to tell others about him. Everything else that we do (our tithes, our "good deeds") serves no purpose, gains no "brownie points" if we are devoid of faith. We do not enter the kingdom of heaven based on good works (Eph 2:9). It is by grace and grace alone! He died for YOU. As individual as you are, so is the sacrifice that was rendered on your behalf. If you were the only sinner on the planet, Jesus would have gladly gone to the cross for you, yet you cannot bring yourself to bow before him and ask his forgiveness. What stands in your way? Very simple - your pride. Lose it - it's not worth anything in heaven, and it's worth even less in hell.
Don't let the fear of ridicule stand between you and God. Remember, they ridiculed Noah, they ridiculed Moses, they ridiculed Jesus...what a great group of people to be associated with!!! Give him your life today. Offer yourself to him for the sacrifice he gave for you. Ask him to take the lead and then follow! There is no meeting him halfway - you have to go all the way to the foot of the cross. It is there that you will find the faith you need to receive the grace you desire. Go!
(photo by Celia Darrigo)