• David Osteen

Parable of the Six Gifts

There were six different men who were celebrating anniversaries with their respective wives. The first man gave his wife what his Dad always gave his Mom; quilting patterns. Of course his Mom loved quilting, but his wife didn’t. She was not pleased with the gift. The second man got his wife what HE would like for the anniversary; Football season tickets. His wife hates football, but at least he was happy (until he got the divorce papers). The third man gave his wife what most guys do; flowers and fake gold. Unfortunately for him she has allergies to both, and was not pleased. The fourth man consulted the experts for what he should get his wife for their anniversary. They said chocolates and a movie; she was hoping for diamonds and a romantic dinner; she was not pleased. The fifth man just went to the store and said “I’m going to go with what feels right”. His wife didn’t appreciate the toaster oven all that much. The sixth wife got tickets to a concert and romantic nighttime stroll along the beach with her husband… just what she wanted; just what she had told her husband… WHEN HE ASKED HER!

An anniversary gift is supposed to be given out of respect and adoration of the one you love. Likewise, we worship God out of adoration; we offer what He is worthy (root word of “worship”) of! How many people have worshipped God throughout their lives without ever asking the question, “Is this the worship that God wants?” “Is this worship pleasing to God?” “Are these spiritual offerings pleasing to God because they are what He has asked for in the manner in which He has asked for them?” God has clearly stated that the worshippers that are His are those who worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24) If the word of God is truth (John 17:17), then if we are offering anything other than what is in the word of God, or in a different manner; how can we possibly believe that worship is truthful and acceptable to God? Many worship God in ignorance, and will have to face the judgment of God because they never possessed the sincerity of heart to ask one simple question, “What does God want?”

There are those, who like the first man in the parable, just do what their Father’s did. They worship God how those before them did without ever searching the scrip-tures to determine truth.(Acts 7:51; Matt. 15:8-9) There are those, who like the sec-ond man in the parable, only offer to God selfishly. They worship God with selfish hearts to entertain themselves or puff themselves up; rather than to sincerely and humbly seek the Lord’s will in worship.(Mt. 6:1-18) There are those, who like the third man, just do what everybody else does. They see people worship God on TV shows or by visiting churches and just assume that’s what God wants because every-one else is doing it.(Eze. 11:12) Then there are those, who like the fourth man, just try and find out what the “experts” say; instead of investigating the scriptures for themselves. In such a case one better hope the experts are right; but unfortunately they not always are.(Jer. 23:25-32) Then there are those, who like the fifth man, just do whatever they feel is right, allowing their feelings to be their standard and guide. But it is God’s word that is to be our guide.(Deut. 12:8; Pro. 12:15) Which leads us to the sixth man, that asks the question “God, how do you want to be worshipped, and in what manner?” and then goes to the scripture to find the answer of truth… AND DOES IT! (Luke 6:46-49; Ax 17:11; II Kings 22:13; II Chron. 34)

This mistake is nothing new! Nadab and Abihu failed to adequately ask and answer before offering strange fire; and paid for it with their lives.(Lev. 10:1-2) Israel, at Mount Sinai, failed to ask and answer before forming the golden calf; and paid for it with their lives.(Exodus 32) David failed to ask and answer before transporting the ark of God; and Uzzah paid for it with his life.(I Chron. 13) Even back to the begin-ning, Cain failed to ask and answer this question when he offered the fruit of the ground to the Lord; and he found his offering to be unacceptable and not pleasing to God.(Gen. 4:2-7) What will it take for us to learn the lesson? When will we take wor-shipping God seriously, and understand the serious consequences of offering false worship to Him? Let it be now while we have opportunity to repent; rather than the day of judgment when it will be too late.

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