Friday, November 11, 2016

First Things First~

Living peaceably with others.
Making offenses and wrongs, right.
Nothing between.

Sometimes I think we overlook how very important this is,
especially in the eyes of God.

Peace between His children
is so important to our Heavenly Father
He would have us make peace with each other first,
before we come bringing our gifts to Him.

So if you are about to place your gift on the altar
 and remember that someone is angry with you,
leave your gift there in front of the altar. 
Make peace with that person, 
then come back and offer your gift to God.
~Matthew 5:23,24 (CEV)

And I wonder
how many tithes and how many offerings,
have been placed on the altar,
how many hands and how many praises
have been lifted up to Heaven,
while wrongdoing, anger, bitterness, unforgivingness
still have their place in the heart of the giver,
or in the heart of the one hurt by the giver.

While giving of our money
and giving of our praise
are visible signs of our love for God,
they are not what God desires most.

He desires our heart.

Offering and sacrifices
are not what you want.
The way to please you
is to feel sorrow
deep in our hearts.
This is the kind of sacrifice
you won't refuse.
~Psalm 51:16,17 (CEV)

God longs for us to feel the sorrow of sin so deeply
we are compelled to do
whatever it takes
to make it right with our God,
to make it right with our fellowman.

Peace with God.
Peace with others.

this is Christianity at its finest.

This is what God desires.

If we are not reconciled to our God,
if we are not reconciled to other fellowman,
the rest -
the giving of our gifts at the altar -
is simply (and sadly) just a religious act.

Father God,
Teach us to love like You love.
In Jesus' name, we pray.

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