“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1Peter 2:5.
What do we have to offer?
“spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
We are like the small child coming to his daddy begging, “Daddy, please, give me some money.”
“I want to buy Mommy a present.”
The child has nothing to offer but what is given him from the father.
The writer of Hebrews says,
“By him therefore
let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
Our Father blessed us each with a mouth, and even when we cannot speak we can do as David exhorts us when he says in Psalm 103,
“Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits:
who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s…”
For more praises to offer up read all of this Psalm.
What does your sacrifice of praise cost you?
- A looking away from self to see anew the goodness of our God.
- Yes, it can be a sacrifice to praise when pain fills your days or when loss brings an ache to your heart you feel you cannot bear.
- Before the praise offer your tears. They are a praise of their own avowing God as the One who cares, understands, and comforts.
- In response He puts a song in your heart as He carries you in His strength and love.
- The offering proves harder to render in these times but the reward establishes its worth.
As our Father shows us His goodness in taking care of our needs, He instructs us,
“to do good and to communicate(give to the poor) forget not:
for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
What will it cost us?
- A night out? A new outfit?
- Whatever God puts in our hearts to give, He has already given us.
- Personally, I doubt it will cost us anything.
- God has a way of repaying kindness with more kindness.
In truth we’ve offered Him only lip service until we offer Him our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The apostle Paul calls us to minister to God through the offering of ourselves.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.”
Reasonable service? Yes, bought and paid for by the Lord’s own sacrifice.
“Forasmuch as ye know
that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,
from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ,
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
1 Peter 1:18-19.
“Ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,
which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:20.
One more sacrifice needs offered before any of these mentioned become acceptable. Jesus shows us the offering that validates all other offerings.
“Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith,
SACRIFICE AND OFFERING THOU WOULDEST NOT,
BUT A BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME:
IN BURN OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR SIN THOU HAST HAD NO PLEASURE.
THEN SAID I,
LO, I COME (IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME,)
TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.”
This Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane as He faced the cross.
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
- Praise is not praise but flattery,
- thanksgiving is not thanksgiving but a desire for more later,
- giving is not giving but looking for reward,
- offering our bodies for service is not service but a desire for recognition of our goodness.
unless we are willing to sacrifice our will in obedience to the Lord.
An acceptable sacrifice surrenders self-will. It is our free will offering. It is called humbling ourselves before Him, even as Jesus did.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.”
Knowing and being filled with the love of Christ bears the fruit of a spiritual sacrifice acceptable unto God. For it is His love flowing in us, through us, and out of us that offers acceptable praise, acceptable aid to others, the acceptable offering of ourselves as His ministers of the gospel.
“Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
What will you bring the King?
Remember the Christmas Song, “Little Drummer Boy”? He played his drum for Him. Given from the heart there is no small offering.