Reconciliation and offering unto God
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”, (Matt. 5:23-24).
Ordinarily, when we come before God to offer unto Him our prayers and gifts, we except that He will answer us and receive our gifts. But, when this is not to be, we should be worried why God sometimes does not answer our prayers and by extension would not receive our gifts. This, therefore, demands that the child of God should go extra mile in finding out why it is so. Such calls for self-evaluation and examination as to ascertain the state of our hearts and our relationships with others. For the scripture had noted: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?,” (Jeremiah 17:9. So). We need to get it right before we can receive from God our Maker. The gospel writer, Mathew in the text above is drawing the attention of believers to the need for reconciliation before offering our gifts unto God. This implies that, the Biblical teaching is for our own good and every child of God should endeavour to live by it.
Remember, he that comes to worship His Maker filled with: malice, hatred, envy and at war with his brethren is a hypocritical worshipper and must meet with God’s displeasure. Indeed, God is not mocked, as the scripture will put it: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”, (Gal. 6:7). Our God knows and sees the imagination of our thoughts. What is going on in your mind right now about somebody created in the image of God just like you?
Unfortunately, sometimes we injure people by our conduct or speech and yet pretend as if nothing has happened. This attitude is highly condemnable, especially when we do such and hide under offering to cover up our bad intentions. Necessarily, rushing to bring our gifts at the altar whether by way of tithes, donations, sowing of seeds among others would not make us to be appreciated the more by God. In case, we do not know, God has already boosted in His Word “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?,” (Psalm 50:10-13). God’s interest, is not what we offer but the mind with which we appear before Him. Yes, did you wound anybody? Remember we are not talking about somebody wounding you but you wounding another and that is where you need pardon, forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation before your offering would be acceptable unto God. We have to take to heart that, it is better to obey than to sacrifice, (1 Sam.15:22).
Impliedly, it is in the mind of God that reconciliation should precede our offerings. This is very important to enable us not to harbour envy, malice, jealousy, or any other such vices that may give the devil a loophole in our lives. However, “those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth”. We, therefore, suggest that for us to be in good standing with our Maker, we need to ensure that we have a sense of justice, live peaceably with others and then seek genuine reconciliation.
May we under God chew upon these Bible passages: Mark 11:25, Luke 17:3-4, Eph. 4:3, Col. 3:13-14. People of God, it is my desire that God through the assistance of the Holy Spirit will enable us to be reconciled with one another. And then should we have prayers and gifts to render unto Him because we are in good standing, He will not only receive from us our prayers and gifts but certainly His blessings will be upon us too. Cheers!!!
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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