God wants to see our whole being involved in sacrificing for Him. "To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:33). Sometimes we think half-heartedly donating our money or time will "appease" God, but God would rather have our genuine love than empty offerings. When we wholeheartedly love God, we will joyfully desire to give back to Him.
When we wholeheartedly love God, we will joyfully desire to give back to Him.
But first we must be fully transformed. We can easily fall into the trappings of this world and give in to the desire to fit in and to be accepted by others, building a large social network rather than developing intimacy with God. Or we may fear being different to the point that we compromise our beliefs. But we must stop conforming to this world—and start transforming our minds for we are new creatures in Christ.
How do we know when we've been transformed? When we see our coworkers lie and cheat to get ahead, we maintain integrity—even if it costs us promotions. When our friends depend on alcohol to help them relax and to cope with life, we are filled with the Spirit of God. When our nation struggles with anxiety, worry, and fear, we experience the joy of the Lord. When the world is pressed with wars and disasters, we have peace that the multitudes cannot understand.
The transformation process is not easy—it demands daily study of God's Word and time spent in prayer. We must hide His Word in our hearts and constantly draw on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Father, help me to be transformed so that I can genuinely and completely give myself to You. Help me to spend time in Your Word and in prayer. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).