Home > Christianity, Faith, God, Growth, religion, self help, Spirituality > Becoming Malleable – Part 3

Becoming Malleable – Part 3

Fall.  Autumn.  Ahh, the scent of a bonfire.  There is no greater fragrance that marks a season.  I often wonder if that is one of the reasons that God was so pleased with burnt offerings in the Old Testament.  Who doesn’t love the smell of burning leaves?  But then I realized that the sacrifice was not leaves, but animals and then it dawned on me!  God isn’t most pleased with a bonfire, but a BAR-B-Q!!  I love a good bonfire, but I love me some barbeque, too!  Amen?! 

The better, more theological answer to the question about why God was so pleased with burnt offerings (other than the tantalizing smell of ribs) is the cost.  People didn’t just stop at the supermarket to find the cheapest sirloins and slap ’em down on the barby.  They had to select a perfect, flawless animal.  Where was their wealth in those days?  Did people trade on the stock market?  NO, of course not.  Their wealth was in their livestock.  And selecting the finest of their wealth  was a sacrifice (hmmm…Gucci goat or Chanel cattle?).

Dictionary.com lists a definition of sacrifice as, “the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.”  By taking some of their wealth and offering it to God they were gaining more:  the favor of the Almighty.  Now, my purpose in this discussion is not to talk about tithing, although that is important.  Do we really think that God needs our wealth (or money)?  He owns everything…He made everything, He can do anything He wants.   But what is it that He wants most of all?  You.  Ironically, the thing He wants, He loves more than anything else He created is the one thing He gives free will to.  He made us, but unless we come and surrender to Him, He doesn’t own or possess us. 

For those of us who have come to Him, are we living in full devotion to Him?  Do we daily consecrate our lives for His service?  Not to serve ourselves, but Him.  Do you ask yourself:

“What is my purpose in life?”

“Am I effective?” 

“Am I making a difference, a real difference in the world?” 

Perhaps you never have.  Maybe you’ve just accepted the daily grind, as simply “your life”.  You run the rat race in your new Nike’s content with the food pellets this world has to offer, when a barbeque lies just outside the maze. 

Psalm 51:10-13 again,

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
       and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

 11 Do not cast me from your presence
       or take your Holy Spirit from me.

 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
       and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
       and sinners will turn back to you. (NIV, 1984)

Why is it that so many people are contented with what this world has to offer?  More specifically, why is the church content with this world?  So many live straddling the fence, hoping their church membership and family legacy will be enough to buy them into the Kingdom.  They blend in hoping not to attract attention with their personal belief system, leading a double life of sorts, one identity in the church, quite another Monday through Saturday.  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide have nothing on these people. 

Verses 10b -13 are unachievable without a purification from the Lord.  Without being purified, you will have a weary spirit.  Without purification you cannot have the Holy Spirit, you will not have joy or sustenance, and you will certainly not lead sinners back to Christ!  Why is it that Christians think we can go “half-cocked” into the world and lead others to Christ when we ourselves are a HOT MESS?!  Talk about ineffective and damaging to the church!  Understand I am not saying we are perfect, but we can be PURIFIED!!  And only a constant surrender and submission to Christ will continue that lifetime purification process that will allow us to lead others to the feet of Jesus.

Here’s the deal, we are running out of time.  Wait. You don’t know what I am talking about?!  Read the international headlines!  Earthquakes, famine, one-world order, it’s all there folks!  I know, some of you are gonna say, “We don’t know the day or the hour.”  You’re right, but guess what Jesus said FIRST in that same breath, “Therefore keep watch..” (Mt. 24:42)  KEEP WATCH!  So what are you doin’ asleep at the wheel?!  WAKE UP!

Jesus said,

42“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

What are we to watch for?  Read Matthew 24. Jesus gives specific things to watch for.  There is so much going on RIGHT. NOW.  You blink and you are going to miss it.  C’mon people, I am gettin’ blessed just reading the news!!  Jesus is coming so soon.  His Word is ALIVE!!!  Hallelujah!

Eagerly anticipating that BIG barbeque in the sky,

Jenn

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