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Summary: We get gifts from people that we don't want and we call them white elephants. In Amos 5, God tells us of white elephant gifts And what He really wants from us.

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God’s White Elephants

Amos 5:21-24

Intro. We are officially into the Holiday season. Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is coming at us fast and furious isn’t it? Lists are being made and shopping has started for the ladies. Men don’t worry; we have another month before we have to shop. My wife is writing her list and I am picking out the easy presents and giving the hard ones to my sons.

. Gifts are part of Christmas

. It all started with the Nativity didn’t it?

. During the Christmas play, three six-year-old boys acted out the role of the wise men. As they presented their gifts of Gold, Myrrh and frankincense at the nativity scene, each boy stepped forward and stated what they were offering to Christ.

The first held out his arms and said, "Gold." The second boy knelt down and said, "Myrrh." The last boy obviously nervous and struggling to remember his lines, stepped forward and declared, "Franki sent this."

. Like the little boy, sometimes we forget what the gift is.

. We forget that Christmas is all about God. Not Us and the things we can acquire.

.Last Sunday I was talking to some folks and stated that the seniors were having their Christmas gathering in a few weeks and that they were doing the white elephant thing. As we were talking, I realized that there are varying views of what white elephant really is. The general consensus was that they are gifts that you are given that you don’t want. You then “re-gift” as they say.

. As I was studying for our message this morning, it occurred to me that we give God white elephant gifts. Things that He doesn’t want.

. While God is not a re-gifter, He is given many things that He doesn’t want.

. Our scripture this morning speaks of white elephant gifts that god does not want and what God really wants from us.

Amos 5: 21-24

. 21“I hate all your show and pretense—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

22I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.

I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.

23Away with your noisy hymns of praise!

I will not listen to the music of your harps.

24Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,

an endless river of righteous living.

. Amos tells us the things that God doesn’t want and the thing that God really wants from us.

. Look at verse 21 again

. 21“I hate all your show and pretense—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

. Amos is telling the Jewish people that they were pretenders.

. They were pretending to worship God with all their pomp and show.

. They were pretending to worship God with their festivals and their solemn assemblies.

. What they were doing was hypocrisy.

. They would show up for church and put on a grand show.

. They would dress in their finest clothes and have festivals that were supposed to be in honor of God.

. Supposed to be worshipping God.

. Instead they were there for themselves. They were pretend followers of God and God says that I don’t want pretend followers. Your pretend worship is a white elephant to me. I don’t want it.

. How dare those Jewish people act like this. They should know better.

. Folks God doesn’t want pretend Christians either.

. Just like the Jewish people, we dress up and we come and are part of this festival and solemn assemblies but we really aren’t here.

.Many come because that’s what is done on Sunday. They get up and get dressed and go to church.

. The worship of the true God is the farthest thing from their mind.

. God is missing in their worship because they really weren’t there to meet with Him.

. A little girl was getting ready for bed one night and she knelt down to say her prayers and as she was talking to God she said “God we sure did have fun at the church service today. Everybody was in there best clothes and all my friends were there and we had a great time together. I wish you could have been there”

. Why are we here? Why are you here? Are we pretending to come and worship. Can we say that at the end of the service that we met with God here today?

. While we use the scripture that says where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be also, out of context many times; we can say that if we are truly coming to our worship services seeking God, He will show up.

. Sometimes, we get out of a worship service and say “That was really a good service”. What we really meant was that the program was good. Everything went on smoothly. The song items were good. The flow of the service was good. The church ambience was good. The message was short, sweet and encouraging. We all left the service “happy”. But was God “happy” with our services?

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Sailamphy Rk

commented on Nov 14, 2017

Im blessed. Thank you

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