“I have my tithe,” he said, showing a balled up wad of cash and dismissing my directive to ask his dad if he had a dollar for him to put into the offering basket at church.
“That looks like more than 1/10,” I said, launching into a quick math lesson.
“I know,” he said, and looking me directly in the eyes, he added, “I want to give more.”
What’s in your heart, Friend? Sure, God sees the work you are doing. He sees how busy you are. But are the tasks you are completing and the thoughts you are thinking throughout the day storing up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6: 19-21), or is obligatory religion driving you more than a heart posture toward Christ (2 Corinthians 9: 7)? Do your prayers and service indicate that you are trying to curry favor with God or trying to force Him to make good on some desire you may have? Or do you simply want above all else to love Him authentically and love people, too (Matthew 22: 37-40)?
When we are brave enough to ask God to reveal the realities of our hearts (Psalms 139: 23-24), He delivers, but we cannot shrink back, pretending that revelation has not come, acting like change is not expected. We cannot reflect His light in a dark world (Matthew 5: 14) if we are unwilling to grapple with the ugliness in ourselves through faith. And let me be honest: you are ugly, Friend, and so am I, but with the blood of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are transformed into something quite beautiful and remarkable.
We can catalogue all the “good” we are doing and all the “good” we are saying, but if our hearts remember not the love we first had, the love that drove us originally to profess our belief, we are not all good (Revelations 2: 2-5).
Here are two questions for today: What does your sacrifice say to God? What does God testify to regarding us as a result?
“By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” (Hebrews 11: 4, NIV)