Burnt offerings and sacrifices

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.
(Mark 12:33 (NIV))

Think about that for a moment.

Has it sunk in, yet?

Burnt offerings and sacrifices were what was done in order for man to atone for his sins. They were a way of telling God that we were sorry for our actions. It was our way of saying, “Daddy, please forgive me.”

There is a saying that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. I honestly think that if we love God with all of our heart, then we will know His heart. We will not need to ask permission, for we will know what He desires of us and for us. If we know God’s heart, we will hopefully not need to ask for forgiveness. I know that when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are forgiven. We will not be perfect. We will still sin. We will still have the need to ask for forgiveness. Hopefully, we will know instantly and turn in repentance and ask for God’s grace and mercy. We will not wait until a ritual asks us to go through the motions.

The burnt offerings and sacrifices were a once a year occasion. How sincere do you think you would be if you only asked for forgiveness once a year. Would you remember the sins that you had committed six months ago? Out of sight, out of mind. Burnt offerings and sacrifices became a ritual that held no meaning.

When you honestly love someone, do you ignore the need to ask for forgiveness, or do you ask as soon as you realize the need? How many husbands have hurt their wives and then brought flowers in an effort to make it up to them. This is the same principle as the burnt offerings.

It is better to do what is right in God’s eyes to begin with. We will all falter and still sin. When this happens, it is better to stop, repent and move on. Don’t hold it in and try to make amends with a burnt offering. Ask for God’s grace and mercy each and every day that you are alive.

Do you love or do you offer sacrifices?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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