Google+ 11/20/13 If We are Truly Thankful, Very Little Belongs to Us or Caesar!

Amos 4:4-5

 

“Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel.
    Keep on disobeying at Gilgal.
Offer sacrifices each morning, and bring your tithes every three days.
Present your bread made with yeast as an offering of thanksgiving.
Then give your extra voluntary offerings so you can brag about it everywhere!
This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,” says the Sovereign Lord.

 

In part three of our twelve-part devotion series entitled, "Thanks Forever!" we turn to Amos the shepherd of Tekoa for a very important admonition.  The name Amos means "burden" or "burden-bearer."  This should give all of us some insight into what subject Amos deals with in this short book in the Old Testament.  Amos is chastising the Israelites for their constant disobedience to God.  Notice that the Israelites are still offering sacrifices to other gods.  They are making their bread for sacrifice out of yeast, which was a big "no-no!"  Rather than bring the first fruits of their labors to the temple on the first day of the week, they were giving to God whenever they felt like it.  When they had a little extra, they would "throw God a bone," and then brag about it.  This short two-verse Scripture is "chocked full" of many sins.  We need to understand that sometimes our "thanksgivings" are simply wrong.  I continue to be amazed about what some are thankful for as they write or speak.  As Amos tells us today, God is not impressed with disobedience, even if we believe we are being "thankful."  There is a reason that God calls us to give to Him on the first day of the week.  The gift should be all and the best that we have, before the world tells us what to spend our "treasure" on during any given seven-day period.  Remember that God promises to provide all our needs.  We need basic food, clothing, and shelter.  There are many different interpretations of what this represents.  At the beginning of the week, we all need to decide what goes to God in terms of our time, talent, and treasure.  If we wait until the world takes over our mind, body, and spirit, we will find ourselves doing nothing productive for God on any level.  Stopping in the middle of the week and making some token "thanksgiving" to God and going right ahead and "sacrificing" to other gods, does not work for God the Almighty.  Amos reminds us of this fact, very directly.  Let's learn from today's prophet and be thankful, correctly!  Do what Jesus says in the New Testament.  "Give to God what is God's and give to Caesar what is Caesar's!"  I will leave you with a little know secret today!  "If We Are Truly Thankful, Very Little Belongs to Us or Caesar!"