Sacrificing to God

Worship. Sacrifice. As Christians we think of those two words as separate things. However, those two words are deeply connected in both Scripture and life. When we worship we want to declare that God has supreme value to us. We are declaring that He is worth our praise, our attention, and even our lives. When we think of worship, we think of things like singing, praying, reading Scripture and listening to sermons. Do we think of sacrifice?

Sacrifice.  That isn’t a popular word today.  Sacrifice is something we ask of others, but we rarely ask of ourselves.  For those who believe in Jesus, we can come to believe that sacrifices are things of the past. They were done before Christ came to pay for our sin. We tend to think about how those sacrifices point to God’s sacrifice – Jesus. However, offering an animal to God is a very narrow definition of the word sacrifice.

21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” 24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

2 Samuel 24:21-24

When King David had failed God and God’s people, he begged God to spare them. God stopped His judgment at a man named Araunah’s threshing floor. Although David does offer a traditional sacrifice on the threshing floor, his first concern is not the sacrifice. His first concern is whether or not he gets to pay for the threshing floor. You read that right. He wanted to make sure that he would pay for it. David would not let Araunah give him the land and the oxen. David had to pay for it. No, there was no command from God that said that David had to pay for the land and the animals. David wasn’t satisfying a rule. David was satisfying a desire in his own heart. A desire that we might be lacking today. He wanted to sacrifice. He didn’t just want to offer the animal sacrifice. He also wanted to give up something in order to do it.

It is always like that. We sacrifice for what we believe is worth sacrificing. We sacrifice for our children because they are worth it. We sacrifice for our country when we believe it is worth it. We even sacrifice for our interests or hobbies because to us they are worth it. What does it say when we are willing to sacrifice for God? What does it say when we are resistant to sacrificing for God?

Oh, if only sacrifice would be the hallmark of our life toward God! If only we would so desire to truly give God what He deserves that we would come to Him giving our attention, devotion, treasure, and life.  That is what sacrifice really means. Will we give Him that sacrifice?  Jesus said it this way, “If anyone would come after Me let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  Is that not sacrifice?  Doesn’t that mean something? Let’s move our understanding of worship from a Sunday activity to a genuine sacrifice. Will it be our undivided attention? Will it be our time? Will it be our treasure or our abilities? Let us give to God what He is due. What will it be for you?

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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1 Response to Sacrificing to God

  1. Christine says:

    As I read your blog, a song came to mind and brought comfort to my heart. Thank you for your words. Yes, He is worth it all!!! All praise, glory, and sacrifice belong to Him.

    Is Your All on the Altar?
    Elisha A. Hoffman, 1900

    copyright status is Public Domain

    You have longed for sweet peace,
    And for faith to increase,
    And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
    But you cannot have rest,
    Or be perfectly blest,
    Until all on the altar is laid.
    Refrain:
    Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
    Your heart does the Spirit control?
    You can only be blest,
    And have peace and sweet rest,
    As you yield Him your body and soul.
    Would you walk with the Lord,
    In the light of His word,
    And have peace and contentment alway?
    You must do His sweet will,
    To be free from all ill,
    On the altar your all you must lay.
    Oh, we never can know
    What the Lord will bestow
    Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
    Till our body and soul
    He doth fully control,
    And our all on the altar is laid.
    Who can tell all the love
    He will send from above,
    And how happy our hearts will be made;
    Of the fellowship sweet
    We shall share at His feet,
    When our all on the altar is laid.

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