Thursday, March 5, 2020


Back when my kids were smaller, they loved to sleep in bed with me. My husband has often worked night shifts, so our king sized bed was especially inviting to their small bodies. One evening when my boys were probably about nine and five, they wanted to have a "sleepover" in my bed. When I told them no, my older son tried to "buy" the sleepover by paying me with hugs. Three hugs, in fact.

There were some problems with this.

First, it was he, not I, that decided three hugs was sufficient payment. What if I wanted five hugs?  Or what if a hug was not what I wanted at all?

Secondly, he wasn't a great hugger. Seeing those words in writing, makes me feel like a really bad mother, but the fact is he was awkward. My older son would lean in and kind of pat my back, whereas my younger son would throw his entire body weight on me. (I would like to set the record straight that both my sons are great huggers now, and even if he was still a terrible hugger I would love to get any kind of hug from either of my sons.)

Those two issues mostly sum up the problem with us trying to make offerings to God. At this time of year, many believers give up something to try to please God. God already loves us. He doesn't want us to try to please Him; He wants us to obey Him because we love Him. There is no spiritual-hug that we can offer God that will buy us a sleepover if that is not what is best for us. I should stop. This analogy is getting weird.

1 Samuel 15:22 says, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams" (NIV).

Stated plainly, our offerings to God are not as good as obedience. No sacrifice we make will atone for our disobedience. As we move daily closer to Easter, I pray that I can remember Jesus Christ made the only perfect sacrifice, and my faith in Him allows that sacrifice to cover me.

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