Our Gift to God

“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6 (NIV)

Picking out a present for someone on their birthday or Christmas can be stressful. The following are ways you can increase your chances of picking a bad gift…

  • Be more interested in what you would like rather than what they would like…
  • Be committed to spending the least amount possible…
  • Purchase your gift at the last minute…
  • Get them the exact gift you gave last year…

If you really love someone, you will want to give them gifts that they will appreciate. This goes for people and this applies to God also. In Hosea’s day, people thought God was pleased with them because they kept their religious rituals. They offered these ritualistic gifts to God not from the heart but from rote religious routines. It had gotten so bad that they didn’t even talk to God while they were going through the motions of religious activities. Through Hosea, today’s passage tells us that God doesn’t want rote, religious routines. He desires something a little more than that.

While religious activities have changed since Hosea’s time, our turning them into rote rituals has not. We turn religious opportunities to connect with God into rote rituals when we are more focused on us that on God, by giving the least amount of effort possible, by throwing our worship together last minute, and by doing the same thing the same way over and over and over.

In today’s passage, God has told us what He wants. God wants our gift to Him to be lives where mercy (loving kindness) is expressed to people, and a passion to know Him and connect to Him is pursued in all we do. Today you will have the chance to express mercy to others. Will you offer that gift to God? Today you will have a gazillion chances to acknowledge God in adoration, thanks, confession and in praying for yourself and others. Will you offer that gift to God? Express to Him right now apologizes for any rote religious activity in your life, and make a commitment to give Him the gift of a merciful and God acknowledging life.

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