Saturday, April 23, 2016

Devotion


Are there times that we live out our lives and worship superficially with no real desire to please God? Do we read His word and apply what we have learned? These are questions I have been asking myself. I was reading in Isaiah and these verses struck me:


Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 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. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 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. -Isaiah 1:10-15
The Jews were doing everything that was asked of them. You would think them, and no doubt they thought themselves, a very religious group of people. But yet they were far from being so because their hearts were empty of true devotion. They appeared before God but they did these things as duties and only to be seen by men. All their religious service did them no good, instead it was just repulsive and offensive. God not only didn't accept their religious service, He detested and abhorred them. It shows that sacrifice, without obedience is just an affront to God. 
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 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. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. -Isaiah 1:16-20
God rejected the people's religious services because their services were not enough to atone for their sin. He didn't reject the people as hopeless but called them to forsake theirs sins and repent. Sin defiles the soul; We must repent of it and turn to God. We not only must put away that which is evil but walk away from anything that might pull us toward sinning again. The last verse tells us that we make the choice and God will judge according to our decision.

Only God and you know if your life is one truly devoted to Him. No one else can see into your heart and see what your true motives are. But living out a life of just going through the motions, is one that is very empty. A life truly devoted to God, one where everything you do has purpose and meaning, is a very fulfilled life! Which would your rather have? Are you willing to give up those things that will allow you to have a life truly devoted to the Father?

God desires for us to do the things He asks with hearts that are devoted to Him. If we are living our lives for Him out of anything but devotion to Him, it isn't pleasing to Him. A verse that I think sums it all up is Psalm 51:17: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. What will YOU chose?