The Lord abhors the sacrifices of the wicked,
but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
The Lord abhors the way of the wicked,
but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
Severe discipline is for the one who abandons the way;
the one who hates reproof will die.
You know that kid who always has the biggest, newest whatsoever whosy whatsy? Do you want to know something about that kid? He almost always would rather have more time with the parent. Instead the parent spends the time earning money with which to buy the whatever and the kid sits at home playing with a toy instead of spending time with a person who can actually make a difference.
God doesn’t want us to bring a sacrifice just to appease Him when we aren’t living for him too. Yes, he wants our sacrifice. But, if we just bring the sacrifice and don’t turn our lives over to Him completely, well, he hates that. For example, if you’re only bringing a sacrifice on Sunday morning but the rest of the week is yours and you don’t give any of it to God – you’re bringing a sacrifice alone.
The Lord loves those who pursue righteousness – which is a pursuit of Him. But, when we’re not pursing Him, we’re pursuing ourselves. And if we’re not pursuing Him, we’re pursuing a way that ends in death.
So, the next time you’re buying a present for a birthday party, I hope it will serve as a reminder for how you’re spending your time. Who has the most control in your life? Is it you? Or is it God?
Don’t treat God like a kid who’s heart you’re trying to buy with a gift. Spend the real, quality time with Him that He deserves.