What is Required? -- By Dean Masters

"What offering should I bring when I bow down to worship the LORD God Most High? Should I try to please him by sacrificing calves a year old?  Will thousands of sheep or rivers of olive oil make God satisfied with me? Should I sacrifice to the LORD my first-born child as payment for my terrible sins?  The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands: "See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God." (Micah 6:6-8 CEV) [1]

God set up a system of sacrifices for His people. The only problem is that the people started to go through the motions and bring the sacrifices thinking that they would get them to heaven while they were living just as they wanted the rest of the time. Micah asked how many animals or gallons of oil had to be sacrificed before they were clean. They had to continually bring the sacrifices because there was no way to be forgiven once and for all. Micah asked if sacrificing a baby would do it. No regular human sacrifice could cleanse them from sin. One divine human did give His life for the sin of the world. That was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He came to earth, lived a totally human, totally divine life and gave His life for each of us. All we have to do is repent of our sin and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.

Micah said that no sacrifice meant anything. It was what is in the heart that mattered. He said the people were to treat people justly and not show partiality. They were to show mercy to those who needed mercy. They were to obey God. In other words, they were to love God with all their hearts, souls and minds and their neighbors as themselves. Then they would live as they should. This is what God required of them rather than all the vain sacrifices.

The apostle Paul wrote about these things in a different way: "If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.  It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (1 Corinthians 13:3-7 NLT) [2]

If we belong to Jesus Christ then we will have His love inside of us. We will want to do the things He wants us to do because of that love and not to work our way into heaven. Do what is required today which is to give your life to Jesus Christ.

By Dean W. Masters

dwmasters@earthlink.net 

Owner of the Masters List: http://shaned.net/mailman/listinfo/masterslist_shaned.net
Unedited redistribution approved.
 

[1] None. Contemporary English Version? (electronic ed.). ,: :

[2] Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997. Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.