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Much More Than All Burnt Offerings and Sacrifices

July 15, 2014

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Much More  Than All Burnt Offerings  and Sacrifices

People  from all religions  have made  “burnt offerings  and sacrifices”  to please  the deity  that they  believe in  and want  to please.     In many  —  and possibly  in most  —  cases,  their “burnt offerings  and sacrifices”  are to no avail.     They could  be turning  to a worthless,  helpless idol  of some sort  —  or if they were actually  making an offering  to the LORD,  they might be doing so  without faith.     They might even  be trying  to earn their way  into God’s favor,  imagining that they have the power  to con the LORD  into doing something  for them.     With mankind’s sinful nature,  there are so many possible scenarios.

In the Old Testament,  the LORD  gave directions  for the proper kinds  of “burnt offerings  and sacrifices”.     In the New Testament,  since there were many different commandments  from the LORD,  a scribe  asked Jesus  which commandment was the greatest.     Jesus replied  in Mark 12:29-30,

The foremost is,  “Hear,  O Israel;  the LORD our God  is one LORD;  and you shall  love the LORD  your God  with all your heart,  and with all your soul,  and with all your mind,  and with all your strength.”

The questioning scribe  was glad  for that reply  and said  in Mark 12:32-33,

Right,  Teacher,  You have truly stated  that He is One;  and there is no one else  besides Him;  and to love Him  with all the heart  and with all the understanding  and with all the strength,  and to love one’s neighbor  as himself,  is much more  than all  burnt offerings  and sacrifices.

To have a heart  with a sincere  and honest love  for the LORD  truly  is worth  “much more  than all  burnt offerings  and sacrifices”.

People  can spend  their whole lives  in sacrificial,  religious services  of every sort  —  and not be pleasing  in God’s sight.     As a matter  of fact,  their sacrificial,  religious services might very well  be repugnant  and horribly offensive  to the LORD.     Why?     Because their religious services are loveless.     They do not  love the LORD.     Instead,  they are faithlessly  and superstitiously  trying to earn  God’s favor.     That is because  they don’t trust the LORD.     They don’t believe  in the gracious love,  mercy,  kindness,  righteousness,  and forgiveness  of the LORD.

To get down  to the nitty-gritty  in their hearts,  they don’t honestly believe any  of God’s word  in the Bible,  and they might as well  be calling  the LORD  a liar.     God’s word  is very clear  in repeating  His love  and gracious plan  of salvation  for all  of us.     We are not  to try  and earn  the salvation  that God says  can only be given  as a gift.

It can only be given  as a gift  because all  of our “burnt offerings  and sacrifices”,   all of our good works,  and all of our self-denials  are tainted  with the sins  of our human nature.     We cannot pay  for our salvation  with such grossly sinful efforts  —  so,  God does not want us  to imagine  that our works are good enough  to pay  for His grace  and forgiveness.

Love is all  that God wants  from us.     Thinking  on God’s sacrificial love  for each  of us,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for first  loving us  in Christ Jesus.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

A 2.67 year old says  I Pledge Allegiance

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus by the Yupiq Eskimo village of Quinhagak, Alaska

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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