If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Deuteronomy 17, Psalm 104, Isaiah 44, Revelation 14. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Deuteronomy 17.
My thoughts for today’s devotional focus completely on just one verse: Deuteronomy 17:1: “Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.” The principle in this verse is simple: You don’t bring damaged good to the Lord, give it to him and call that “worship.” It is offensive to God when people try to take out the trash and call it worship.
The reason that this is “detestable” to God is that it shows a profound lack of love for the Lord. You would not give your spouse an old pair of your shoes on your anniversary;. Likewise, if you love God, you will give God your best ox or sheep, not your worst. Sacrificing to God an animal that is damaged and, thus, will not make you as much money as your other animals is no act of worship.
Since we don’t bring animal sacrifices to God anymore, we’re in the clear on this verse, right? Not so fast. When we come to worship on Sunday, do we come rested and with our best attention or do we come late, frazzled from trying to get everyone there, and distracted by a thousand other things on our minds? When we go to serve God, say, as a teacher or AWANA leader, are we well-prepared or do we think, I can just throw something together and it will be good enough. When we see someone in our church body who has a need, do we help generously or do we do enough just to quiet our conscience? When we give to the Lord’s work, do we give sacrificially and happily? If you spend more on your cable tv & internet service than you give to the Lord’s work each month, a passage like today’s might cause you to stop and think about what is important to you and where your priorities are.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.