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How’s your worship?

You know those times in life when you’re in the Scriptures, praying regularly, and are generous with your finances and time? In other words, you know those times in life when you are truly, genuinely worshiping the Lord? Those times where you are generously giving your time, talents, and treasures to the Lord?

Some of you might be in a stage of life right now where the idea of giving your true and genuine worship to the Lord is a foreign thought. For you, God has an encouraging, yet hard word.

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s Table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 1:6–8

During Malachi’s day, half-hearted worship was demonstrated by not giving Yahweh the best. When Israel was called to give one of their unblemished animals to sacrifice to the Lord, they would instead get a blind one. When they were called to show God his true worth in the giving of valuable time and resources, they would simply give God what was left—that which they didn’t want or need.

We do this same thing today: we give God our time, but only the time we have left after doing everything else from work to family to play. We give God our treasures, but only the finances that we have left after paying for bills and everything else that we desire to have. We give God our time, but only the time when nothing else is going on (when it’s not football season, when my kids don’t have a soccer game, when I’m not too tired).

Here’s how I think God would say this today:

1.    “I am your God . . .”

2.   “The God who created you . . .”

3.   “The God who redeemed you by sending my Son to die . . .”

4.   “The God who raised my Son from the dead so you too would have newness of life.”

5.    “Why isn’t that enough for you to want to give me your true and genuine worship?”

6.   “Why is it that, even though you know who I am and what I’ve done for you, you still don’t give me your time, talents, and treasures?”

The point is not condemnation, but rather encouragement. Be stirred to think of the things the Lord has done for you and let that propel you to truly, genuinely worship the Lord by giving to him generously your time, talents, and treasures. Religion says, “Give God your best because you have to.” The Bible says, “Give God your best because you want to.”

Ryan Welsh is a pastoral resident at the Downtown Bellevue church.

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