God doesn’t want you to come to Him empty-handed.
No, you can’t come to Him full of yourself,
And you can’t come to Him based on your track record,
And you can’t use your performance as a recommendation.
No, you can’t come to Him based on your family,
Your position in life,
The successes you’ve had,
The possessions you’ve accumulated,
Or the human acceptance you’ve gained.
But God requires you to come with your hands full.
He requires you to bring to Him the sweetest of sacrifices,
The sacrifice of words,
He calls you to bring Hosea’s offering.
“Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take with you words
And return to the LORD.
Say to Him
‘Take away all iniquity;
Accept what is good,
And we will pay with bulls
The vows of our lips.’”
God doesn’t want you to come to him empty-handed.
He asks of you a sacrifice.
Not a grain offering,
Not a lamb or a bull.
No, that requirement has been satisfied By
the blood of the Lamb.
Yet God asks of you a sacrifice
It is the offering of words,
Words of humility,
Words of honesty,
Words of moral courage,
Words of moral candor,
Words that could only be spoken,
By one who rests in grace
Words of confession are what you must bring.
Free of negotiation or excuse,
On His altar of grace,
And receive forgiveness and cleansing.
Uncover your heart,
Exposed by words, and say:
“We will say no more, ‘Our God,’
To the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”
Come with words,
It is the way of grace,
It is the way of freedom,
It is the way to God.
Paul David Tripp
Scripture references are from Hosea 14:1–3 (AT)
- What are you tempted to take pride in and offer to God for acceptance, instead of resting in the sacrifice of Christ as your acceptance?
- How have you stumbled this past week? What do you need to confess, both to God and others?
- In what ways have your words of confession been infiltrated by negotiation and excuse? Be specific.
- How should your words of confession sound if they are driven by humility, honesty, courage, and candor? Be specific.
- What can you say or do to remind yourself to rest in grace?