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I nearly offered the Lord a three-legged sacrifice the other day. Let me explain.
My wife and I were in a church in southwest France for services. Saturday morning the program called for a service in a retirement home. I was a bit tired (I was born tired, I suspect) and I was tempted to do some spiritual coasting—take it easy in other words. Don’t sweat it.
After all, I’ve preached for 38 years. If need be I can speak without preparation or provocation and continue on for a long time after you wish I had quit.
So part of me was whispering, “Don’t worry. Be happy. No problem. You don’t have to get so serious because being serious takes energy.” But, you know what? Preaching God’s Word, whether you’re in front of a handful or preaching to thousands of people is much too important to do it half-heartedly.
I decided to give my best.
The people surprised me by their reaction. Many of these brothers and sisters had served the Lord a long time and they prayed powerfully during prayer time. I felt that God wanted me to tell them how important they were to Him and that their earthly life was valuable until they drew their last breath.
We’re on earth to serve Him and He watches over us from the womb of our mother until we enter eternity.
It was a super time with some people who are particularly precious to the Lord. If I had treated the service as unimportant, I would have missed the blessing that the Lord gave me through their lives.
If I hadn’t done my best, I would have been offering a “three-legged sacrifice” to the Lord. Leftovers don’t interest God.
“When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. “Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”-says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1: 8, 9, NIV)
These three-legged sacrifices hobbled up to the altar alongside blind and sick animals. Those people offered that to God, knowing full well that the governor would never have taken those sorry critters in payment for their taxes.
They treasured the best for themselves.
Have you ever found yourself coasting during prayer and worship at church? Your mouth works by itself while your heart and thoughts fly elsewhere. Does catching catfish inspire you more than getting together with brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you have to wrestle your wallet out of your pocket when the offering plate passes?
Do you do your job for the Lord without enthusiasm because you’ve done it a thousand times and you can do it with your eyes closed? Does your heart sleep during your personal devotions? Do you find yourself more passionate for other things than for God?
God requires the best of His people, because He gave the best of Himself for us. He still does. Lukewarm people are wasting their time at Calvary.
If you’re sleeping in your life for the Lord, I have a word for you …
Wake up! Repent! Be serious and sincere ! Let the Holy Spirit make you alive in Jesus once again so you can serve Him with love and passion.
God has no place for three-legged sacrifices.
Someone said that at the age of 20 we have the face that nature gives us. At the age of 50, we have the face we deserve.