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Sacrifice is Still Required

By: Michelle Moore

If we are followers of Jesus, disciples of Christ…Christians, that means that we must-should be in the process of becoming Christ-like, re-formed in to His image, imitators of Christ as He Himself was of the Father.

Ephesians 5:1-2    Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

He gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God.  If we are imitators of Him, then we must learn to give ourselves as an offering and sacrifice to the Father, also.  This sacrifice of ourselves is a sweet-smelling aroma to Father and to the Son, seated at the right hand of God ever-interceding for us as we lay ourselves on the altar.

To be that sweet-smelling aroma, the sacrifice is born in obedience that is founded in our love for the Father, founded in our faith, rooted in the hope that is eternal, not fleeting and momentary, not of this world.

“But, what about that verse in 1 Samuel that says, ….to obey is better than sacrifice and that God wants us to obey His commandments more than He wants our sacrifices?”

1 Samuel 15:22       So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.

Yes, what about that??  Samuel was pointing out that God is not pleased with our sacrifices when we are choosing to walk in disobedience.  It’s like when a child intentionally does something that they know is wrong, then wants to make it right by bringing a sacrifice, a peace offering.  Our obedience to the commandments of both the Old and New Testaments is required, but God’s desire is that through Jesus our obedience would be borne out of our intimate relationship with Him.

Deuteronomy 28:1   Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.

Matthew 5:17  “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Our sacrifice is a living one.  Our sacrifice is that we submit our will, our thoughts, our emotions, to the process of becoming more like Christ.  Our sacrifice is that we take up our cross daily and follow Him.  Our sacrifice is praise, is worship, in the face of battle, in the wake of loss and disappointment.  Our sacrifice is the pursuit of purity in an immoral world longing for the next fix and fulfillment of personal pleasure or comfort.

Our sacrifice is giving thanks, being generous with our time, talents and treasures, doing good, taking care of each other, loving the difficult-to-love, forgiving the “unforgivable”.

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Hebrews 13:15-16   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. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

1 Peter 2:5  you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Sacrifice is still required!  Not the burnt offerings and peace offerings and sin offerings.  The sacrifice is much more personal and much more costly.  It is the supernatural gift of love & obedience.  It is the evidence of our faith in God, our belief that He is good, that there is more to this existence on the other side of the veil where we will meet Him face-to-face and where our offerings, our sacrifices are a sweet-smelling aroma.