Summary: God is not satisfied with our itty bitty sacrifice. He desires that we give the best of our spiritual gifts to Him.
6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.
"But you ask, ’How have we shown contempt for your name?’
7 "You place defiled food on my altar.
"But you ask, ’How have we defiled you?’
"By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible (worship is no longer a priority). 8 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.
9 "Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?"-says the LORD Almighty.
10 "Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands. 11 My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
12 "But you profane it by saying of the Lord’s table, ’It is defiled,’ and of its food, ’It is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ’What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously," says the LORD Almighty.
"When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?" says the LORD. 14 "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and my name is to be feared among the nations.
I like to preach messages on Sunday night that are geared more toward uplifting and encouraging the church. However, tonight I have a message that is more of an admonition for each of us. Over the next few weeks, we will be looking into spiritual gifts and learning more on how to use those gifts to God’s glory. Before we dive into that topic I wanted to take some time to share with you some thoughts on the purpose of spiritual gifts and how we use them.
I. Use your gifts properly
a. 1 Peters 4:8-10 – Use your gift to serve others…in various forms
b. 1 Timothy 4:11-16 – Do not neglect your gift
c. Our gifts are a way to “preach” the gospel. There is great power demonstrated when we use our gifts for God that is obvious to the unbeliever. When God is in it, people notice it.
II. Putting on a show instead of demonstrating authentic Christianity
a. In our post-modern church world – are we more interested in making sure the lost are pleased when they visit us, or are we more concerned about the eternal destination of their soul?
b. “Come As You Are” purpose – It is to reach the lost for Christ where they are right now! And to provide a venue for the believer to worship in a more expressive way. The message hasn’t changed – We are sinners. Our punishment for that sin is an eternal Hell. Jesus came to save us. He died on the cross as our sin substitute. He rose again on the third day defeating sin, hell and the grave and sits at the right hand of God until the time is fulfilled that He come and take the church to be with Him. The service may be more casual, the music more upbeat, but the message is the same!
c. What people need is an authentic relationship with Jesus. They are not in need of rock songs that hint about Jesus. They don’t need stories, they need sermons. They need our genuine prayer more than they need our political correctness.
d. We have an exciting story to tell – Jesus saves! Peter preached that message in Acts ch. 2 and 3000 were saved in one day! We are not at a loss for programs or ideas. We are not at a loss of talent or money. We are at a loss for people that will live the gospel out loud!
e. When a lost person comes to visit our church, what should they go away with? (1 Cor 14:23-25 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25 and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!" NIV)