Sacrifice

Empty Promises (Hosea 6:6)

“For I declare mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)

If we are not sincere when we attempt to turn away from our sin and trust in God’s grace over our failures, then we will likely end up falling back into that same sin repeatedly or any other pattern of sins. If that cycle sounds familiar to you, then let me help you out and let you know that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. (more…)

Just Like Judas (John 12:4-6)

“But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12:4-6)

Several years ago when my family and I still lived in the SF Bay Area, we attended a large church that puts on an annual Easter production for the community. One year I played the role of Judas Iscariot, who is known as the disciple who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. It was challenging for me to play that role, for as a born-again Christian, I had to put myself in the complete mindset of the one who betrayed the Lord.

While it was difficult to put myself in Judas Iscariot’s shoes, the life of Judas is a clear demonstration of those who claim to believe in and follow Jesus, but whose thoughts and actions reflect anything but. And I had been there before. (more…)

Matter of the Heart (Psalm 69:30-32)

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. The poor will see and be glad– you who seek God, may your hearts live!” (Psa. 69:30-32, David)

Simply put, a sacrifice of praise is more valuable than a sacrifice of our resources. I believe this is because a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving is reflective of a heart of love and obedience, whereas a sacrifice of our resources and assets is merely a sacrifice of something that already belongs to God, regardless of whether we choose to offer it back to Him or not. (more…)

Psalms for Persecution (Psalm 56:3-4)

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise- in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psa. 56:3-4)

This verse makes me think of Christians in other countries that are truly persecuted for being Christian, and I am sure that these verses and Psalms give them hope. We are SO incredibly sheltered in America from the type of physical and spiritual persecution that Christians in other parts of the world go through, and it’s hard to imagine being tortured and having your loved ones tortured as well for following Jesus. (more…)