6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.7 There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.
A Worthy Offering
By: Joe Stowell, Strength For The Journey
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. —Genesis 4:7
I was delighted when a mutual friend gave my neighbor a Bible. But my neighbor told me she stopped reading it because she couldn’t understand why God would be so unfair as to reject Cain’s offering. “After all,” she said, “as a farmer, he simply brought to God what he had. Did God expect him to buy a different kind of sacrifice?” Sadly, she had missed the point.
It wasn’t that God didn’t like vegetables. Rather, He knew that Cain’s offering was masking an unrighteous attitude. Cain wasn’t fully committed to God, as expressed by the fact that he wasn’t living according to God’s ways.
It’s easy to worship God on the outside while stubbornly keeping territory from Him on the inside. Jude writes about outwardly religious people who use religious activities to cover the reality of their sinful lives: “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain” (Jude 1:11). We can faithfully serve God, sing His praises, and give sacrificially to His work. But God doesn’t want any of that without our hearts.
Does the Lord take priority over our plans and dreams? Is He worth more than the sin that tempts us? When we express to Him that He is more worthy than anything or anyone else in our lives, it’s an offering He won’t refuse.
Lord, may our worship and our praise, From hearts surrendered to Your ways, Be worthy offerings of love For all Your blessings from above. —Sper
God won’t refuse a heart that is surrendered to Him.
A vision of the latter day glories
From: Charles Spurgeon
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Isaiah 2:2 & Micah 4:1
I am looking for the advent of Christ; it is this that cheers me in the battle of life—the battle and cause of Christ. I look for Christ to come, somewhat as John Bunyan described the battle of Captain Credence with Diabolus. The inhabitants of the town of Mansoul fought hard to protect their city from the prince of darkness, and at last a pitched battle was fought outside the walls. The captains and the brave men of arms fought all day till their swords were knitted to their hands with blood; many and many a weary hour did they seek to drive back the Diabolonians. The battle seemed to waver in the balance; sometimes victory was on the side of faith, and then, triumph seemed to hover over the crest of the prince of hell; but just as the sun was setting, trumpets were heard in the distance; Prince Emmanuel was coming, with trumpets sounding, and with banners flying; and while the men of Mansoul pressed onward sword in hand, Emmanuel attacked their foes in the rear, and getting the enemy between them both, they went on, driving their enemies at the sword’s point, till at last, trampling over their dead bodies, they met, and hand to hand the victorious church saluted its victorious Lord. Even so must it be. We must fight on day by day and hour by hour; and when we think the battle is almost decided against us, we shall hear the trump of the archangel, and the voice of God, and he shall come, the Prince of the kings of the earth; at his name, with terror shall they melt, and like snow driven before the wind from the bare side of a mountain shall they fly away; and we, the church militant, trampling over them, shall salute our Lord, shouting, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
For meditation: The Lord’s second coming is an encouragement for us to hold fast to what we have (Revelation 2:25; 3:11). “Hold the fort, for I am coming!”
Streams in the Desert
When God Says No
“There hath not failed one word of all his good promise” (1 Kings 8:56).
Some day we shall understand that God has a reason in every NO which He speaks through the slow movement of life. “Somehow God makes up to us.” How often, when His people are worrying and perplexing themselves about their prayers not being answered, is God answering them in a far richer way! Glimpses of this we see occasionally, but the full revelation of it remains for the future.
“If God says ‘Yes’ to our prayer, dear heart, And the sunlight is golden, the sky is blue, While the smooth road beckons to me and you, And the song-birds warble as on we go, Pausing to gather the buds at our feet, Stopping to drink of the streamlets we meet, Happy, more happy, our journey will grow, If God says ‘Yes’ to our prayer, dear heart.
“If God says ‘No’ to our prayer, dear heart, And the clouds hang heavy and dull and gray; If the rough rocks hinder and block the way, While the sharp winds pierce us and sting with cold; Oh, dear, there is home at the journey’s end, And these are the trials the Father doth send To draw us as sheep to His Heavenly fold, If God says ‘No’ to our prayer, dear heart.”
Oh for the faith that does not make haste, but waits patiently for the Lord, waits for the explanation that shall come in the end, at the revelation of Jesus Christ! When did God take anything from a man, without giving him manifold more in return? Suppose that the return had not been made immediately manifest, what then? Is today the limit of God’s working time? Has He no provinces beyond this little world? Does the door of the grave open upon nothing but infinite darkness and eternal silence?
Yet, even confining the judgment within the hour of this life, it is true that God never touches the heart with a trial without intending to bring upon it some grander gift, some tenderer benediction. He has attained to an eminent degree of Christian grace who knows how to wait. –Selected
When the frosts are in the valley, And the mountain tops are grey, And the choicest buds are blighted, And the blossoms die away, A loving Father whispers, “This cometh from my hand”; Blessed are ye if ye trust Where ye cannot understand.
If, after years of toiling, Your wealth should fly away And leave your hands all empty, And your locks are turning grey, Remember then your Father Owns all the sea and land; Blessed are ye if ye trust Where ye cannot understand. –Selected