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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Put Your Heart Into It

Did you ever have fights when you were a little kid? With your brother or sister, a cousin or a friend. Maybe they took your toy, or maybe they got the last cookie. Maybe you just thought they looked particularly ugly that day.
I've had fights like that. After all I do have a brother and sister. The bad part of those fights was when mom and dad walked into the room. They'd break up the fight I was bound and determined to have. Then they'd do something even worse. They'd make us apologize to each other.
I've said quite a few grudging, "I'm sorry's" in my life. As I grew older I learned to say them on my own. I even wanted to say them. But when I was a little girl, I was stubborn. I hated saying I was sorry. I hated admitting I was wrong. I would've given all the toys in the world to avoid it.
Many times in Christian life we are the same way. We know we shouldn't be doing something, but we don't want to give up our sin. We don't want to admit we're wrong. Our pride gets in the way.
So we let our guilty conscience take over. We give a little extra in the offering plate. Or we volunteer to help out in the church. We pour ourselves into sacrafice trying to avoid the real problem.
Isaiah spoke about this in Isaiah 1. Check out these verses:
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
God was talking to Israel in these verses. They had started sacraficing merely out of duty. They weren't truly repenting for their sin. They just did what was expected of them.
Their lack of concern for their sin made God sick. God wanted their obedience not their rituals. He wanted their hearts not their sacrafices.
God wants the same from us today. He wants our heartfelt repentance.
Just like mom used to tell us to "Apologize like you mean it." God is up there saying, "Turn from your sin and mean it."
Check out your life today. Is there anything you're trying to cover with extra sacrafice? Remember, God wants your heart!


At 9:23 AM, Blogger Corina Bowen said...

I am printing this out for the woman in our women's home... you hit right what we have been dealing with!!
Praise God

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Tracy said...

I remember when I was but a youngster I went to play at your house. We got in a fight over a weeble and I threw it at your head instead of telling you I was sorry. I think we both got in trouble. Maybe Raegan gets her weeble possessiveness from us!

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