“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 NIV)
How good we feel about ourselves when we offer our meagre monetary sacrifices to our Maker each month. I have to wonder however, if those sacrifices are meaningful to God!
Think, for a moment, about our world. It contains billions of inhabitants, and most of them are living below the poverty level. Are we making a difference in these lives? Are our measly sacrifices reaching them at a level they can understand? Are we truly showing them mercy?
Are we really acknowledging God through our offerings?
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40 NIV)
Let’s take for example the problem of obtaining clean water, a luxury we hardly have to worry about in the Western world. Do we even realize that nearly one billion of this world’s population doesn’t have access to a source of clean, safe drinking water?
How would we enjoy drinking from a lake, river or pond where livestock routinely drink, and sometimes even relieve themselves? The body of water is also often used for laundry and bathing, and may contain discarded trash, and sometimes, even human waste. Would we enjoy a cup of water from this water source?
And this may be the only water source for miles around, meaning that it is necessary to go a fair distance to obtain this polluted water! North Americans use an average of 350 litres of clean water a day, while many African families subsist on a mere 20 litres, and this, often, from adulterated sources. No wonder half of the world’s hospital beds are filled by patients agonizing from water-related and sanitation-related diseases.
Do we take time to even pray for them?
Besides providing clean water, there are many other worthwhile endeavours that would help those living in such dire need. If only we could make a difference to even just a few!
Now we need to ask ourselves: What kind of sacrifice can we offer to our Heavenly Father that He would truly delight in?
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)
Excuse me! There is some dirt in my glass of water!
(To access the entire “Awake!” devotional series, please click here.)