Journal Entry // January 1, 2022
But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD ‘s table may be despised.Malachi 1:6-7 ESV
This is a difficult word from the Lord speaking to the priests offering sacrifices on the altar to the Lord. The thrust of the message is that the offerings were offensive to the Lord because the sacrifice was purported to be worthy choices from the flock, but were given from the defective and sick. This was so offensive that the Lord calls into question that their gift to him should not even be given to their governor or local official. These polluted offerings demonstrate how much the priests despised the Lord’s name. And this is present in my heart as well.
Oftentimes I give my sacrifice to the Lord from the defective and sick of my personal flock. What do I mean by this? When I give my tithe of money, am I giving from the best portion (the first portion) or am I giving what remains after I have spent and supplied for my wants and desires? When I give money for my tithe or as a gift to others for the honor of Christ, do I give begrudgingly in my heart? When I give my time to serve at church, am I serving for the honor of Christ or because I want others to see me serving and praise me for my sacrifice?
My flesh will often pollute my every sacrifice. When my heart desires to do good, pride and arrogance are there alongside. I easily turn my good and meaningful service to the Lord into personal glory. Why? Because I love the praise of men more than I love the praise of God. Sin is so efficient at twisting my every good thought and endeavor into an avenue of personal glory. Leading me to care more about my reputation and presentation as a Christian than Christ himself.
How unlike Christ is that attitude. My attitude must continue to be one of weakness and humility. The Bible is full of proper examples of acceptable sacrifices and they all center on worship. When I give of my time, I am worshipping Jesus. When I give of my talent, I am worshipping Jesus. When I give of my treasure, I am worshipping Jesus. It’s all about worshipping Christ. In humility, I am learning to forget myself and focus on Christ. Whether I am successful in the eyes of the world is irrelevant. If people look at me and see how great and wonderful I am then I have failed.
I want people to look at me and worship Jesus. I want my every breath, my every thought, my every word, my every action to point to the beauty and glory of Jesus. I want to be forgettable. I want to be like an exit sign on the highway. No one really remembers the sign that says “Next Exit 2 miles”. I’m thankful for the exit sign that keeps me pointed in the right direction and let’s me know about the destination, but the destination is the purpose and goal. I want people to be encouraged on their journey to Christ. I want to live a life just pointing to Jesus and nothing else.
So Jesus, please continue to bring weakness and humility into my life. Continue to reveal to me the lingering darkness within my heart. Teach me repentance. Teach me to worship you in every single moment of life. Teach me to enjoy a simple life spent walking in communion with you.