"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God,that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."(Hebrews 13:15)
A few weeks ago, my oldest 2 grandchildren were at my house and they decided to play church. They got one of my small baskets and asked me for some change to put in it and then they commenced to sing, preach and then of course, take up an offering.
As they held the basket out to their "congregation" they sang "We bring the sacrifice of praise into the House of the Lord". They continued playing and I had gone into the kitchen to begin cooking when Mikaela (7) came in and shook the little basket and cheerfully said, "We need more sacrifice, Nana!"
I got her some more money, but the words she spoke continued to play over and over in my mind. Profound Truth sprang forth.
"We need MORE sacrifice"
We all know that a sacrifice is when we give up something that is valued. It is the letting go of something important. Sadly, most of us feel like we have a real understanding of the true meaning of sacrifice, but the truth of the matter is, we really don't have a clue. In the deepest recesses of our imaginations, the vast majority of us are totally in the dark when it comes to the meaning of making a real, authentic sacrifice.
We think we sacrifice when we go to church in the pouring rain. Or when we have to keep the nursery during worship service. Or when we teach VBS. Or if we don't eat dessert.
Unfortunately, the things that we typically see as a sacrifice are really just minor inconveniences at best. Usually small things that when we do without, we really don't miss them anyway. Things that we don't appreciate and sometimes take for granted.
A true sacrifice should be just what it says.Something that we want to hold on to. Something that hurts to give up. Something that costs us in one form or another.
A sacrifice of our time. A sacrifice of our comfort zone. A sacrifice of our money. (ouch)
Our pride. Our wants. Us...
I've been asking myself lately what do I really do or not do that is a true sacrifice to my Lord. It's not tithing because not only is that required, but it is a joy to give back to Him, what is already His.
It's not working in the nursery. I love doing that and that fact that my sweet little Sawyer is in there, makes it definitely NOT a sacrifice!
I volunteer once a week at a clothing/food mission, but that's not a sacrifice because I love doing it. I come in contact with 40 or more families a week and am able to encourage them and share Jesus with them.
Do I even have a clue as to what a true sacrifice is?
No - but Jesus does. He became the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. For your sins. He did for us what we couldn't do for ourselves.
He took OUR place on the cross. A painful, cruel cross. He exchanged His life for ours. He paid our debt with His own precious blood. He became the payment for our sin. He became our redemption. He made the greatest sacrifice ever.
He gave so that we could receive.
So, what can I do that would be a genuine, authentic sacrifice?
Something that would indeed cost me to give up or do. Something that would take me out of my comfort zone. Something perhaps that I don't want to do.
I owe Christ nothing less than my whole heart and my whole life.
He deserves all of our energy. All of our talent. All of our committment.
All that we have and all that we are.
So, let's bring the sacrifice of praise, wholeheartedly into the House of the Lord!