Offer proper sacrifices, and trust in the Lord. Psalm 4: 5 NLT
I am writing this devotional on Ash Wednesday and the words "proper sacrifices" take on an additional meaning at this time of year. I am referring to the traditional Christian emphasis on "giving up something for Lent." In other words, this is our modern way of fasting.
But when we fast, shouldn't our fasting be a "proper sacrifice?"
Sure, giving up sweets or facebook is a nice discipline but is it really what God wants us to be about? Just as in giving up eating we need to make sure all other outward appearances are normal. No chewing someone out just because they can drink soda and you can't for 40 days (by the way, Sundays are NOT a part of Lent). Don't lose your temper at an innocent by-stander when it is really the lack of sugar that has made you mad.
It goes much further than outward appearances, too. Have we taken the time to hear from God on what God wants us to give up or take on? Are we clear why we are even participating in these disciplines?
Are we giving God a proper sacrifice or just doing something to make ourselves feel good and holy?
God, you ask for proper sacrifices and trust in you. Am I truly doing this? Help me, Lord! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims