We’ve just spent a whole season trying to bring happiness to the people we love. We’ve gone shopping, and tried to find just the right gifts for our friends and family. We’re really good at remembering our family during the holiday season, but do we forget our Best Friend when it’s time to give gifts?
The people who lived in Israel may not have forgotten God in their gift-giving. I’m sure some of them still brought sacrifices of calves and lambs and oil, but the majority of them thought of God as a harsh master, someone who expected more than they could afford to give! Eventually, their distorted picture of God pushed them farther and farther away.
God can’t stand being so far away from us—His creation that He loves so much—so He decided it was time He set the record straight. Through His prophet Micah, God was about to announce the terms of having a relationship with Him. But first, God states the misconceptions about Himself.
With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
These rhetorical questions all have one answer—NO! But, you ask, didn’t God tell the Israelites to make sacrifices to Him? He sure did, but there’s something He wants better.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Yes, if God had a choice between sacrifices or someone who did justice, loved kindness, and walked humbly with God, He would say, “Never mind the sacrifices!” Why?
We’re all sinful and messed up. We really can’t do justice, love kindness, or walk humbly on our own. Since the beginning of time, God’s greatest desire has been to be as close as He can be to His people. In order for my life to have these characteristics, He has to be living inside of me. I have to have an active relationship with God!
In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, did you forget to get your Best Friend a present? There’s something He wants more than anything else in the world—it’s a personal relationship with you! It’s not too late to ask Him to come into your heart to stay. Won’t you pray this prayer with me?
Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.
That’s a prayer He will never say “no” to. He’ll come right inside and, if you will let Him work with you, He will change you into someone who does justice, loves kindness, and walks humbly with Him. If you give Him your heart, that will be His favorite Christmas gift!
Timmy Baze 😀
SCRIPTURE PORTIONS TAKEN FROM THE HOLY BIBLE, ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION, COPYRIGHT © 2001 BY CROSSWAY BIBLES, A DIVISION OF GOOD NEWS PUBLISHERS