But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord.

Malachi 1:13 ESV

In this scripture, the priests were taking the easy way out. They were fulfilling the requirements of performing the sacrifice, but the sacrifices themselves were inadequate.

Why is that?

The priests couldn’t sacrifice that which cost them nothing. True sacrifice requires something from us, or it is just a cheap show.

That which requires nothing of us means nothing to us. When we offer sacrifices to God, we are giving up something lesser and we receive something greater.

We sacrifice our time, we’re filled with the presence of God.

We sacrifice our money, God pours out blessing on us.

We sacrifice our ambition, he puts us on his path.

The sacrifices the priests were offering were either lame and sick, which cost them nothing, or they were stolen (taken by violence).

The sacrifices cost them nothing and God wouldn’t honor those sacrifices.

What is wrongfully acquired cannot be rightfully sacrificed.

You only worked 39 hours, but you put 40 on your timecard. You’re going to tithe with that stolen hour?

You spoke lies about your pastor, now people have left the church and are looking to you for guidance. You are going to start a church with sheep you stole from another’s fold?

God will not accept a sacrifice that wasn’t yours to give.

Today, examine yourself. Are you trying to give God things that you haven’t rightfully earned?