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Motive Means Everything (Proverbs 21:27)

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord loves to receive sacrifices from men. Yet, it is important to recognize that the Lord looks beyond the actual sacrifices and into the heart of those making the offerings. What He sees in the heart is far more important to Him than the actual sacrifice itself. This is because a man may offer the right sacrifices but does so from a heart of ungodliness. God does not approve of such sacrifices. There were individuals who lived in the days of animal sacrifices who brought sacrifices as prescribed by the law but did so with improper motives. The Lord said of these sacrifices that to Him, these sacrifices were an abomination. Though the nature of sacrifices has changed, the fact remains that men can, and do, offer sacrifices of praise or thanksgiving outwardly all the while their hearts are far from God (Matthew 15:8).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Some believers in the early church sacrificed by selling lands or houses and bringing the money to the apostles to help others. Barnabas, Ananias, and Sapphira were among them. Read Acts 4:36-37 and Acts 5:1-11. Whose heart was right with God?
  • (For everyone): Do you know anyone who speaks highly of the Lord or publickly gives God thanks but refuses to draw near to the Lord in his or her heart?
  • Do you give the Lord praise with your lips? Do you do so to impress others? Do you do so to deceive others into believing your walk with the Lord is more than it truly is?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to purify your motives in sacrifice.
  • Ask the Lord to enlighten you as to your motives.