In Malachi chapter 1:6-8, the Lord speaks to the people of Israel through the prophet Malachi saying, “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ “By offering defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.”
In other words, the people were treating God with contempt by just giving Him what ever was convenient for them, treating their offering as a meaningless ritual, but with no reverence or respect for Him. In our day and time, due to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, we don’t offer animal sacrifices or offerings like in the Old Testament era. However the same concept still exists. Blemished offerings are still a common problem for us today- they just look a little different.
When I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me daily, to dwell in my heart, and to lead me where God wants me to be, I began to notice a lot of things, but the first and most obvious thing I noticed was the amount of time I devoted to prayer or scripture compared to time I invested on my phone or other social activities. I would catch myself playing Candy Crush on my phone for an hour, but then feeling “too tired” to read more than a few verses in my bible. By becoming more aware of that, God was letting me know that I wasn’t making Him a priority in my life.
Now i’m not saying you have to read the bible for hours and hours every day. God understands that we have responsibilities and things that have to be done; work, school, children, you get it. Just making it to church on Sunday morning can be an accomplishment for me with trying to manage a toddler, and God has shown me over and over that my efforts to go are never in vain. But what happens after that Sunday morning service is over? A perfect example of today’s version of a ‘blemished offering’ is giving God that 1 hour on Sunday for church, and then, as if He was a book that you’re done reading, putting Him back on the shelf until it’s time for church again next Sunday. God deserves more than one hour of your time, but more than that, He wants to be an ever present part of your life.
Even if you read a few verses a day, or do a short devotional, adding God into your daily routine will incorporate a joy and fullness to your life that wasn’t there before.
If anything, remember this. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Christ died for you, the least we can all do, is be faithful to Him, and give our best to Him.