“These are my life’s achievements”
“These convictions I have lived by”
"No! I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing." 2 Samuel 24:24 My worship and my very life is a sacrifice (Rom. 12) offered to God. This verse is one of my favorite reminders that we are always to bring out best to God. It ought to be a sacrifice. It ought to cost me something or it is not a sacrifice. If it cost me nothing it is too comfortable to be called worship. It is too easy to be called sacrifice.
Far be it from me to keep coming to each Sunday with worship I am not even invested in. Far be it from me to keep living a life for Christ that cost me nothing.
I began reading through Leviticus today in Bryleigh's Bible. All of the rules for sacrifice and offering are beginning to be laid out. There are always the typical things I remember about sacrifice and offering. It had to be without defect. It had to be offered by their own freewill. It had to be offered at the doorway since we are unworthy to enter; a reminder that we are sinners who want to be close to a perfect and pure God. That requires sacrifice and lifeblood of something without defect since we are so full of defect in our sin.
I am thinking, though, of the progress through chapter 1. It begins with the offering of a bull, but it goes on to show if you could not afford a bull, you could continue to offer lesser and lesser animals for the same amount of atonement.
When we worship God, we must ALWAYS bring our very best. If our very best is lesser than other people, that is fine, but it must be our very best.
That being said, it is important to remember the more God does and blesses you with, the richer you are in Him. The demand for "your all" grows.
Over and over, God reveals to people how they are to come to him. WHen they worship Him and bring their sacrifices, it is to be done with intensive preparation and intentionality. They were not to come to God's presence without the right preparations. In Exodus 34.20 God says "Don't show up empty-handed." Again and again there is a reminder we would not, should not, and better not come to God empty-handed. But we are often so lazy about our worship. We drag ourselves into worship on Sundays. We are empty handed and empty hearted. We have done nothing to prepare ourselves. We have not prepared our worship to be a pleasing aroma to God. Many or most Sundays we are lucky if we prepared anything at all.
Most Sundays we dray our apathetic hearts to worship and expect God to be overwhelmed by our valiant efforts put forth. "At least I showed up!"
My empty hearted worship is a joke and I am lucky I do not have to suffer the consequences the Israelites would have suffered for bringing such half-assed and empty-hearted sacrifice.
Later in Exodus 34, Moses is so close to God he gleams bright in the face. He has to wear a vail when he leaves God's presence, but every time he comes into God's presence he removes it.
When I come to God's presence, I want to be sure I admit and remove any blockages or hindrances my heart and mind have between me and God.
I have to remove my vail every time I come to worship him. I have to grow sick and tired with half-assed, empty-handed, and empty-hearted worship.