We (Lifepoint Church) receive a leadership resource each month entitled Defining Moments. It is a audio resource from Willow Creek and is usually Bill Hybels talking. The one for this month has been rocking my world for the last few days. There was three passages of scripture in his message for this talk and I have to share two of them right now.
The first is in Amos 5:21-24. This whole book is pretty brutal so I wouldn’t read it for encouragement. This book was written by Amos and was intended for the people of Israel. It’s purpose was to pronounce God’s judgment on Israel. It is an eye opening book though. The passage I have highlighted talks about how fed up God was with their showy worship services (it was all a front) and how two faced Israel had become.
Here is what the notes in my bible say: “God hates worship by people who go through the motions only for show. If we are living sinful lives and using religious rituals and traditions to make ourselves look good, God will despise our worship and not accept what we offer. He wants sincere hearts, not praise from hypocrites”.
Pretty strong stuff! Wait the next one is better.
The second is in Malachi 1:6-10 . Similar story with this book. It was written by Malachi and was for the people in Jerusalem. It’s purpose was to confront the people of their sins and to restore their relationship with God. The verses that I have highlighted deals with these beat-up sacrifices that people were offering God (it was tradition to offer sacrifices). God had given clear direction and these people were disobedient to his instructions. Read the passage and see what God has to say through Malachi.
Here are the notes from my bible: “God’s law required that only perfect animals be offered to God. But these priest were allowing the people to offer blind, crippled, and diseased animals to God. God accused them of dishonoring him by offering imperfect sacrifices, and he was greatly displeased. The New Testament says that our lives should be living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1). If we give God only our leftover time, money, and energy, we repeat the same sin as these worshipers, who didn’t want to bring anything valuable to God. What we give God reflects our true attitude toward him”.
I don’t know if you are tracking with me on this but God hates fake people and we dishonor God when we don’t bring our best to him. If you are on the Dream Team at Lifepoint, I am going to share a little more with you later. I want to challenge everyone reading this to do two simple (the not complex “simple”, it is definately not easy “simple”):
2) offer your best to God in all that you do
This will bring Him honor.