Read: Isaiah 1:10-18
Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
Why do we do it?
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Why do we do the things that we do as Christians? Why do we go to church? Is it something we just do because we have to? Because Mom and Dad say we should? Why do we give offerings in church? Is it because we’re supposed to? Because everyone else is? How about the church service? Why do we confess our sins every church service? Why do we say the creeds and the Lord’s Prayer? Why do we sing hymns? Is it just because that’s what we’ve always done?
It’s important that we understand why we do the things that we do as Christians, because God wants our heads and hearts to be in worship too!
That’s what God was telling his people in today’s lesson. God told the Israelites how to worship him. He gave them instructions to follow and explained why they were to follow them. God wanted his people to worship him with their hearts. But somewhere along the line, God’s people stopped thinking about what they were doing and why they were doing it. They just went through the motions of worship and didn’t live like Christians when they weren’t at church.
What God talks about today is important for us to remember. Going to church, giving an offering, and saying the right things in the service isn’t what makes us Christians. It’s important that we know, not only what we do, but why we do it.
We go to church each week to hear and learn the most important message of all: God forgave all our sins through Jesus. He’s strengthening our faith every time we listen to his Word. We confess our sins and receive forgiveness, we say prayers, sing hymns, and recite what we believe. Why? Because all of this points us back to that truth. We give an offering to God as a way to say “Thank you, Jesus, for all you’ve done for me.”
So the answer to the question “Why do we do the things that we do?” is actually pretty simple: because Jesus did what he did. He showers us with his grace, love, and forgiveness each time we come into contact with his Word. He sends the Holy Spirit to give us power to serve God and to serve others.
So, why do we go to church? That’s where we hear about Jesus. Why do we give an offering? That’s where we say, “Thank you Jesus.” Why do we sing songs, pray prayers, and recite words? Because those things let us proclaim Jesus! Why do we do what we do? It’s all about what Jesus has done for us.
Holy Spirit, strengthen our faith. Increase our love for you and your Word. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What is the one thing we hear every week when we go to church and Sunday school?
- What is your favorite hymn to sing?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Why does God want us to give offerings to him? How is that true even for children?
- How does God strengthen your faith?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why is it so important that we understand why we live the way we do as Christians?
- Agree/Disagree: God gave me my church so that I can show Jesus how much I love him by coming every week.