Sunday, 26 March 2023
"Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High.” -Psalm 50: 14.
The careful reading of the Psalm today shows us that outward religious forms are no match for real worship that rises from the heart to God. God wants to tell His people that He is not pleased with all the mere ceremonies of worship if spiritual decay lay in their lives—they that hate His instructions and cast His words behind them(V.17). When God comes to judge, the upright will receive His acceptance while the ungodly will face His reproach.
God ordained sacrifices in the Old Testament times to put people right with Him- right from the time of Adam and followed by the Patriarchs and into the time when God separated His people as a nation. To Moses was given the Law and the methods concerning the various sacrifices which we read in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. But with time, the sacrifices had just become a ritual for most of the Israelites. God who wanted the heart of the worshipper asks a question in V.13 that reflects what was spoken by Prophet Samuel: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”(1 Samuel 15:22).
For us the New Testament believers, God has made it very clear, as to what He wants of us. God wants our lives to be full of repentance, gratitude, love, obedience, submission and devotion.
The New Testament identifies seven sacrifices pleasing to God:
Spiritual Sacrifice:- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.( I Peter 2: 5)
Living Sacrifice: - Apostle Paul urges us, in view of God's mercy, to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this shall be our true and proper worship. This is the sweet aroma to the Lord- dedication that pleases Him. (Romans 12: 1)
Sacrifice of Thanksgiving:- Our continuous praises to God through Jesus is a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Hebrews 13:15)
Sacrifice of Good works and Fellowship: - Doing good and sharing with others is a sacrifice and with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)
Sacrifice of Faith:- Apostle Paul considers his commitment to faith, a drink offering and he is glad in it and rejoices. (Philippians 2:17)
Sacrifice of Giving:- Here apostle Paul considers the donations sent to the needy as a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.( Philippians 4:18)
Sacrifice of Love:- Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.( Ephesians 5:2)
These sacrifices when offered to the Lord with a heart full of gratitude, thankfulness, with the awareness of the greatness and awe of the Lord who created the universe out of nothing, will become a sweet aroma to the LORD. God is ready to show His salvation to those who repent and turn to Him in true worship (Ps.50:23).
To Meditate on: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51: 17)