“Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David.
“Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty,
and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.”
But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”
- 2 Samuel 24:22-24 (NLT)
If worship costs us nothing but is fashion to comfort our needs and preferences, it may not be worship at all. We have forgotten that what worship costs us is more important than how worship comforts us. What was the last thing that worship cost you?
Father, I confess that I thought worship was supposed to be about me.
I remember that what I give to You should carry some kind of a cost.
I pray today that my worship will not be cheap or even comfortable.
For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory.
No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right.
- Psalm 84:11 (NLT)
God does not promise to give us everything we think is good,
but He will not withhold what is permanently good.
He will give us the means to walk along His paths,
but we must do the walking. When we obey Him,
He will not hold anything back that will help us serve Him.
Father, I acknowledge that You are a good God.
In fact, every good gift comes directly from You.
Give me the mind to see Your goodness so that I will live with an attitude of gratitude. Thank You for directing my steps and giving me exactly
what I need to do exactly what You desire.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
- John 3:16-17 (NLT)
How do you tend to measure love? The greater the love, the greater the sacrifice.
No greater love has ever been evidenced than Jesus. He exchanged His life for our life.
It is because of His death, that we experience His life. For those who have trusted in the Gospel, perishing cannot enter our vocabulary.
Father, thank You for loving us. You gave Your Son to take my place so that I can have a relationship with You. We stood condemned but through Jesus You justified us.
Give me the strength to live not as I was, but who I now am.
O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.
- Psalms 59:17 (NLT)
Human love can be shallow. We fall into it or we fall out of it. Often, our love is based on nothing more than what someone has done or not done for us. We are a "what have you done for me lately: kind of people. The Psalmist knew something that makes all the difference - God's love is not like ours. His love is a never failing, always present kind of love. His love is not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
His love never fails and never gives up.
Father, please help me to understand Your love better and to experience it in a deeper way. When I remember that You know everything about me, but love me anyway I am filled with wonder and amazement. Not only do I want to be growing deeper in Your love, I want to share that same love toward those who are around me. Thank you, that in the darkest moments of my sinfulness, that Your love is still there.
Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
- Genesis 22:13-14 (NLT)
No one likes to be replaced. We hate being replaced on the job by someone else.
We hate being taken out of the game. We want to stand at the plate and hit.
We don't wand a DH to hit in our place. However, I believe there's one exception - the cross! Jesus' took our place. He died in the place we should have. He stood at the plate with our sins. He came into the game when we were beat. He won he victory.
The story of Abraham and Isaac was a mere picture of our story.
Father, I am humbled that You sent Your Son to take my place on the cross.
He took all my sins and gave me all His righteousness. If it was left to me, I would lose. Today, I live in Jesus' victory regardless of what is going on in my life right now.
I cry out with Abraham that You are the Lord who provides.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
- Psalm 23:1 (NLT)
Everyone is following someone. When you consider the fullness and satisfaction of your life, would say there is something that is missing? David is clear that following the Great Shepherd leaves us satisfied with whatever we have and wherever we are.
Father, I thank You for knowing and fulfilling my greatest needs. Help me to be satisfied completely in Jesus. You are my reward and portion, not just for eternity, but also in the present. I confess I've strayed and tried to find satisfaction apart from that which only You can give. I realize that by following You, I am helping others to know You as well.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers
- the moon and the stars you have set in place -
what are mortals that you should think of us,
mere humans that you should care for us?
- Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT)
How much can you really do with your fingers? I mean really, the fingers can't do a lot on their own. The Psalmist declares that the moon and all the stars were "fingerling" work to God. No big deal at all. If the cosmos is that big yet God completed it like finger-work, then who are we that God should care for us? What a great question.
I don't know the answer, but I do know He cares.
Father, I am overwhelmed to learn and see the magnitude of Your creation, yet even in the midst of that to know that You care for me more. I can't fathom the idea,
but by faith I accept it and praise You every day.
"He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we
can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds!
Once you were wandering like lost sheep. But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls."
- 1 Peter 2:24-25 (NLT)
By His wounds we are healed. By His death we have life. We are no longer without direction, purpose, or place. By His wounds we are now the sheep of His pasture and He shepherds our soul. For extra thought, read Isaiah 53.
Father, thank You for willingly being wounded for me. Thank You for voluntarily taking my place so that I could have life more abundantly. Today, I want to live for You,
not because I have to, but because of the debt of gratitude I feel.
"God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!"
- Psalm 46:1-3 (NLT)
How great is our trust in God? The Psalmist declares that even in the most cataclysmic event, God will be there in order to shelter and help us. Even if the geography of the land changes (mountains in the sea because of an earthquake), our God never changes.
Father, You are the creator and sustainer of all things. The majesty of the mountains
and the depth of the oceans are simply Your creative handiwork.
If the mountain is to fall, it will be at your okay.
If the oceans flow past their boundaries, it is because of Your permissive will.
If you can order creation, today will always be okay because You are with me.
I love you, Lord; you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.
- Psalm 18:1-3 (NLT)
Concentrate on the different word pictures the Psalmist used to prove the safety we find in God. We don't worry when we place our valuables in a safe that is fireproof and
tamper-proof. What real reason do we have to worry considering the security we have because of our relationship with God?
Father, there are endless words that would describe the safety we have in You.
Even with enemies present, we are safe because we are Yours.
Without a doubt, we love You and trust You.