Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."
What is it that pleases God the most? Burnt offerings and sacrifices? Weekly visits to His house of worship? Regular contributions? The performance of religious duties? Deeds of service?
The psalmist declared, "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."
It is our heart that God wants. And the heart that is pleasing to Him is one that is broken and contrite. Its pride is shattered: the walls of shame that have surrounded it are broken down. It is filled with sorrow for its many sins. It is a faith-filled heart, one that trusts solely in the merits of Jesus Christ for full forgiveness. It is a loving heart, one that loves God and people and seeks to serve both.
Certainly God delighted in the sacrifices of His Old Covenant people, so long as they were offered from penitent, loving hearts. And God is pleased with our sacrifices--our worship, our gifts, our service--so long as such tributes flow from hearts that have been changed by His power, melted by His love, and filled with His Spirit.
PRAYER: Break our hearts by Your law, O God, and mend them again by the healing power of your Gospel; in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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