What Does God Want?

“I don’t want your sacrifices–I want your love; I don’t want your offerings–I want you to know me.”  Hosea 6:6

We usually think of sin as doing something harmful to someone, and that would necessarily be a sin against God as well, for He has commanded us to love one another.  But we don’t generally think of sin as failing in our relationship with God.  Yet we do fail.  We all do.  None of us spends enough time getting to know God, praying, and trying to serve Him to the very best of our knowledge and ability.  In the first commandment He asked us to love Him with our whole heart (commitment), our whole soul (emotion), our whole mind (intellect) and our whole strength (passion).  (Matthew 22:36-40).  None of us does that.  We are all half-hearted some of the time in some of these ways.  And that is the beginning of our sin.  If we were wholly committed to God, loving Him with every part of our being, then love for others would flow from that, for we would see others as created in God’s image, and precious to Him.

And some would say “I give God my tithe, and I give God my service.”  What would we think of a child who had been adopted out of desperate straits, loved and given every advantage, who in adulthood no longer has a relationship with his parent.  He may send cards for the requisite occasions, and even speak well of his parent publicly, but does not have anything resembling a relationship.  We would think of that child as a selfish, ungrateful, person.  Yet, far too many people are in that situation with God, going through the motions, giving money, but never talking to Him or seeking His will.

Many of us do not think of ourselves as sinners, only as people who make mistakes, or don’t live up to our own resolutions.  Not seeing ourselves as all that bad, we never fully appreciate God’s mercy or what Jesus did to redeem us.  We frankly don’t think we need much forgiveness, and ought to deserve a break for all the good things we do.  But when we think of our failure toward God in His desire for a real relationship with us, we are way past the time when we should be begging His forgiveness and grateful for His mercy.  We need to repent of our unloving attitude toward Him, and begin building a wholehearted relationship.

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