"Equipping God's People to Reap the Harvest"
Animal sacrifices foreshadowed the coming Savior who would die to take our sins. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 10:1, 4, NIV. “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship…It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
Christ is the Lamb sacrificed for our sins. It’s in the Bible, John 1:29, NKJV. “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
God gave His Son as a sacrifice to save the world. It’s in the Bible, John 3:16, NKJV. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Christ sacrificed His life for us out of love. It’s in the Bible, John 15:13, NKJV. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Because God has sacrificed for us, we follow His example in love. It’s in the Bible, Ephesians 5:1-2, NKJV. “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.”
Sacrificing to God is offering up our lives and bodies to live in service to His will. It’s in the Bible, Romans 12:1, NKJV. “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.
When we sacrifice, it is an expression of praise. It’s in the Bible, Psalms 54:6, NKJV. “I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good.”
Giving because we are thankful is like offering up sacrifices of praise to God. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 13:15, NKJV. “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.”
Sacrifice and prayer are part of worshipping and getting to know God. It’s in the Bible, Psalms 141:2, NKJV. “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”
It’s not about giving up stuff – God wants a change of heart and for us to know Him. It’s in the Bible, Hosea 6:6, NKJV. “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 21:2-3, NKJV. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.”
Sacrifices help show our hearts are broken with remorse and guilt for our sins that put to death an innocent victim. It’s in the Bible, Psalms 51:16-17, NKJV. “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— these, O God, You will not despise.”
When you give something to God, give it willingly and cheerfully. It’s in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 9:7, NKJV. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."
When you sacrifice something to God, give your best, not what is leftover. It’s in the Bible, Malachi 1:8, NIV. “‘ When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?' says the LORD Almighty."
Rejoice to offer your life as a sacrifice for the service of God’s cause. It’s in the Bible, Philippians 2:17-18, NKJV. “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.”
God is pleased when we sacrifice what we have to do good deeds and share. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 13:16, NKJV. “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
Do what is right, and trust God with what you offer. It's in the Bible, Psalms 4:5, NKJV. “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.”
Obedience is better than asking for forgiveness for your mistakes and sins. It’s in the Bible, 1 Samuel 15:22, NKJV. “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.’”
Sacrificing our wealth, livelihood, time, and lives is worthless if it is done without love. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:3, NKJV. “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Loving God and loving others wholeheartedly and with all that we have is worth more than anything we can offer as a sacrifice. It’s in the Bible, Mark 12:33, NKJV. “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”