This is a very important question. All the religions of the world differ in their response. Each religion makes requirements of what you need to bring to God. Each religion describes what makes God happy. But, what does the Bible say? What can we bring to the Lord? How can we make God happy?
In the Old Testament 10 Commandment Law System, there were many required rituals, many prescribed offerings, and many mandatory sacrifices. Are these what we should bring to the Lord?
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good. (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
What can we bring to the LORD?
What kind of offerings should we give him?
Should we bow before God
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
What can I offer the LORD
for all he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and praise the LORD’s name for saving me.
I will keep my promises to the LORD
in the presence of all his people. (Psalms 116:12-14)
Why is it that we honour God most by taking, not by giving? The first answer that occurs to you, no doubt, is-because of His all-sufficiency and our emptiness. Man receives all. God needs nothing. We have all to say, after all our service, ‘Of Thine own have we given Thee.’ No doubt that is quite true; and rightly understood that is a strengthening and a glad truth. But is that all which can be said in explanation of this principle? Surely not. ‘If I were hungry I would not tell thee; for the world is mine and the fulness thereof,’ is a grand word, but it does not give all the truth. When Paul stood on Mars Hill, and, within sight of the fair images of the Parthenon, shattered the intellectual basis of idolatry, by proclaiming a God ‘not worshipped with men’s hands as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all men all things,’ that truth, mighty as it is, is not all. We requite God by taking rather than by giving, not merely because He needs nothing, and we have nothing which is not His. If that were all, it might be as true of an almighty tyrant, and might be so used as to forbid all worship before the gloomy presence, to give reverence and love to whom were as impertinent as the grossest offerings of savage idolaters. But the motive of His giving to us is the deepest reason why our best recompense to Him is our thankful reception of His mercies. The principle of our text reposes at last on ‘God is love and wishes our hearts,’ and not merely on ‘God has all and does not need our gifts.’
“Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the LORD your God. Yet the LORD chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above all other nations, as is evident today. Therefore, change your hearts and stop being stubborn.
“For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky! (Deuteronomy 10:14-22)
The Lord only requires 3 things…
- The Lord requires you to do what is right
- The Lord requires you to love mercy
- The Lord requires you to walk humbly with your God
Anything more than that is just a man-made religious invention trying to put you under bondage (Galatians 5). Anything less than that is pride following the footsteps of Satan walking away from God (Isaiah 14; Acts 17; 2 Thessalonians 2). This is consistent with God’s revealed message throughout the ages…
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened — burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. (Psalm 40:6)
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. (Psalm 51:16)
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place? My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)
Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! In the book of the prophets it is written, ‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel? No, you carried your pagan gods—the shrine of Molech, the star of your god Rephan, and the images you made to worship them. So I will send you into exile as far away as Babylon.’ (Acts 7)
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” (Luke 10:25-28)
When anyone comes to the Lord in humble love and faith, God has promised to receive them…
Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people–that they would become a curse and be laid waste–and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. (2 Kings 22:19)
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
For this is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:13)