“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me …” (Psalm 50:23 ESV)
Is the point of “sacrifice” that it should cost something? Abel brought his sacrifice of the firstborn of his flock of sheep – trusting God that there would be others to follow. Cain brought a sample of the “fruit of the ground”. It was Abel who received the regard of the Lord (Genesis 2).
From the very early times “sacrifice” has meant a recognizable effort and a giving up of something for a specific purpose, in this case an attitude of thanksgiving and worship in joyful delight in the presence of God. This is exemplified by a just and kind life in fellowship with God’s people.
Do we need to be mindful of the kind of sacrifice that we offer to God in our prayers and worship?
Do we “offer thanksgiving” as our sacrifice from our hearts rather than just honouring him with our lips?
The ultimate sacrifice was the Son of God given for the sins of the world – we cannot get anywhere near emulating that kind of love, in this world at least, but we can offer what we have – our hearts- in thanksgiving. Especially at this season of Christmas.
“Listen to this, you that ignore me, or I will destroy you, and there will be no one to save you.
23 Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me, and I will surely save all who obey me.”
(Psalm 50:22-23 GNT)
Lord, open my lips so that I can speak. Then my mouth will praise you.
16 You don’t take delight in sacrifice. If you did, I would bring it.
You don’t take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 The greatest sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. God, you will gladly accept a heart
that is broken because of sadness over sin. (Psalm 51:15-16 NIV)
So I will give him a place of honor among those who are great. He will be rewarded just like others who win the battle. That’s because he was willing to give his life as a sacrifice. He was counted among those who had committed crimes. He took the sins of many people on himself.
And he gave his life for those who had done what is wrong.” (Isaiah 53:12 NIV)
God gave Christ as a sacrifice to pay for sins through the spilling of his blood. So God forgives the sins of those who have faith. God did all this to prove that he does what is right. He is a God of mercy. So he did not punish for their sins the people who lived before Jesus lived. (Romans 3:25 NIV)
How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you!
8 ‘These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me.
9 It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!’” Isaiah 29:13) Mathew 15:8-9 GNT)
So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. (Romans 12:1 GNT)