Topic: Practical Christianity [Monday 16, October 2017]
Memorise: For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. – Hosea 6:6
Read: Psalm 51:12-18 (KJV)
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Bible in One Year: Galatians 1-3, Daniel 8:1-14, Hymn: Sing Hymn 14 – Take My Life
Going to church is not same as knowing God. There are many people in church today whose lifestyles do not reflect having any experiential knowledge of who God is. Furthermore, being involved in church activities is not the same as loving God. If you love God, it will show in the way you conduct the affairs of your life. God is a merciful God who desires the prosperity of His children, and He is in search of hearts that are longing for Him. God is calling us into an intimate knowledge of His son and His attributes. If you know God, the evidence will be seen in the way you relate with people around you. This includes your colleagues in the office as well as your neighbours at home. If your lifestyle does not match with God’s word, no matter how much you give to Him or the activities you engage in to impress Him, you will not find favour in His sight. The words of 1 Samuel 15:22 are very clear:
“…Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Some time ago, at a gathering of God’s people at the Redemption Camp, I had to tell everyone there that if you know you are not genuinely saved by the blood of the Lamb, there is no need to give any offering to God. God will not accept the offerings of sinners. It is an abomination before Him (Proverbs 15:8). Our lives must count for God first, before other things can follow suit.
God wants us to obey His voice and follow His word for our lives. He wants His children to all be true people who impact the lives of others positively. Living a godly life is all that God desires from us. When we live according to His standards, He will be pleased with all that we have to offer. Morality and rituals cannot grant us access to the mercy of God. Before the prodigal son could receive mercy, he had to come to his senses and amend his ways by going back to his father. God is longing for those who will praise Him in spirit and in truth. He is desperate for those who will magnify Him not for what they can get from Him but for who He is. Do you know that you can come before God with big offerings and yet stir up His anger? This will not be your lot in Jesus’ Name. No amount of sacrifice from us can equal His sacrifice for us. The scope of this sacrifice can be seen in these words of Romans 8:32:
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Key Point: Obedience is better than sacrifice
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.