God isn’t looking for any sacrifice except a surrendered heart. Anything else we can offer Him — money, goods, labor, good works, study of the Word, hours of prayer, ministry to others — none of those things have anywhere near as much value to Him as our individual hearts. When we make the decision to love Him with all of our hearts, all of our minds, all of our wills, and all of our strength, then — and only then — have we offered Him what His heart desires more than anything else in the universe.
He created everything we see, hear, touch, smell and taste — everything we interact with — from the tiniest seed planted in a field to the gold and diamonds dug from beneath the ground to the vast array of stars that beguile us at night — all of it was created for us. Without us, none of it gives Him the pleasure He deserves. We are the crown of His creation because we are at the core of His love. Give Him the joy He so richly deserves today. Give Him yourself — without hesitation — without reservation. Our surrendered hearts are the most precious sacrifice, and the most holy worship, we can give.
Seized and stripped and slapped and spit upon,
Scornful salutations; sorrow; shame;
Satan stalks the Son of God and Son of Man:
Scarlet stripes, scalding tears, searing pain;
Search the scriptures, surely they the story tell:
Insatiable evil strikes; the Lamb is slain.
But surely, it’s my sins He bore, my sorrow,
My sickness, my distress, my grief, my pain,
Submitted Sacrifice: He sealed the promise;
Sufficient, He bought me peace with God again.
This week’s Lenten lesson comes from sections of Psalm 51 and Psalm 91. Once again, I’m refraining from commenting on the passages. I’ll let God’s Word speak for itself. I hope you find these words comforting and inspiring during this season.
“Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
. . .
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
. . .
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
. . .
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it:
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart –
These, O God, You will not despise.”
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
. . .
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him;
With long life I will satisfy him
And show him My salvation.”