10
Jan
17

The Heart Of The Matter

We get so caught up in the outward appearances of things that we forget that God’s primary concern is the condition of our hearts.  We’ll dress up on the outside, but never clean up the inside.  We’re not much different than the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.  Over and over He chastised them for their outward shows of religion and strict adherence to the Law without any concern for people and their predicaments.  Their hearts, though, were far from God.  On two occasions in the book of Matthew, Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6, which reads:

I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know Me
more than I want burnt offerings. (NLT)

We can bring sacrifices of praise and tithes and offerings to the Lord’s storehouse, but never understand what being a Christian is really all about.  Does it please God if we can sing peppy worship songs and timeless hymns, but despise our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Is God happy when we strictly tithe our salaries and income yet hate our neighbors and enemies?  Will God notice perfect worship attendance and daily Bible readings and prayers if we are not compassionate towards those who are suffering and those who are far from Him?  There is a difference between knowing God and going to church.  I believe that we need to worship corporately and be edified by teaching from God’s Word.  But if we are merely trying to earn perfect attendance certificates for our worship attendance and the message never hits home or goes to our hearts, then we have big problems.  God wants a relationship with you more than He wants your money.  He wants a compassionate heart that beats for others more than He wants your sacrifices of praise and worship.  Our giving and our praises please Him more when they flow from a grateful heart for what He has done for us through His Son.  May our gratitude overflow into our hearts and change the way we see others and give us a desire to truly know God.

PRAYER: Lord God Almighty, I want to know You today. I don’t want to merely know about You. I want to know You as my Father, my Savior, my King and my Friend. Help me to know You more each day starting today. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

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