October 13

Psalms 51:16-17 (NIV) 16You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

This is from David's prayer of repentance after his sin was exposed. During the time between his fall into sin and the confrontation by Nathan the prophet, David must have gone to sacrifice to the Lord. All the singers he assigned were in place, lifting praises to God. He would have brought the priest the lamb or goat that was without blemish, and ceremoniously lifted his hands to heaven in prayer, as the sacrifice burned upon the altar. He may have even brought thank offerings and celebrated one of the feasts of the Lord, all the while knowing in his heart that he was a murderer and adulterer.

Once he finally faced how hard his heart had become, he realized that going through the motions was not what God was after. The motions and ritual did not ease his guilty conscience. What was God looking for? A broken heart! A contrite spirit! That was all that God would accept. The sacrifices were done, but were not accepted, and David knew it. The lack of peace in his heart told him that God was after something else. Once he admitted his sin, his heart broke and he realized that brokenness was the real sacrifice. Now his future sacrifices would be accepted.

Have you felt that gnawing pain of your worship falling flat? Something in your heart is telling you that all is not well between you and God. You do everything you are supposed to but there is no intimacy between you and God. You don't sense His acceptance. Check your heart. You don't need a prophet to tell you, the Holy Spirit can point it out. Unforgiveness, bitterness, a complaining spirit, or some overt sin you hide from the world but justify in your mind may be the source of the broken relationship.

Action: Confess your faults one to another that you might be healed. To tell a trusted friend or advisor, to get it out of the darkness and into the light will help you forsake it and live.

October 13

Philippians 3:18-21 (NIV) 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Two types of people are presented here, citizens of heaven and citizens of earth. There are those that love the cross and those who are enemies of its message. There are those whose destiny is destruction and those whose destiny is heaven. One has their mind on earthly things, the other is focused on heavenly things. One glories in shameful things, the other in godly things.

Some will try to stand between those two worlds, but it can't be done. You will be drawn to one or the other. As children of God, we are to live lives that will attract the citizens of the earth, not confuse them. Sometimes the children of God will act as if the earthly has value. We speak the language of the earth. We act as if we are pleased with the things of the world. The citizens of earth need to see our desire is in another place.

We know that one day, everything will be under the control of Christ. That gives us great delight because we have come to know how gracious and good He is. Living as children of the light should help the citizens of earth see that.

Finally, our hope is in the transformation of these bodies, not holding on to them. We desire the attachments to the worldly to pass away that our focus might be completely on Him. It is coming! Your transformation is at hand. Your lowly body will be like His. Then you will be able to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Then you will know life in all its fullness.

Consider: Realizing that transformation is coming loosens our ties with this life but strengthens our commitment to service here.