A Pleasing Aroma

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).

While some Christians possess great wealth, most do not fall into that category (1 Corinthians 1:26). In fact, we sometimes wonder, “What can we give God?” One woman meekly approached the temple treasury with two small copper coins, which she gave. While she did not impress most onlookers, she did one: Jesus. He replied that since she gave what amounted to a sacrifice, while the others gave their large amounts from their abundance, she gave more than they all did (Mark 12:41-44). Jesus did not count the offering, He counted the sacrifice.

Sacrifices to God lead to benefits we might not imagine. Since, as noted above, God is pleased with such sacrifices, we gain His smile when we sacrifice. Additionally, we also will receive future rewards (Luke 14:13). We may not have much to give, but we all can sacrifice something for God. God even delights in the sacrifice of praise we give to Him:

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

In the Bible, sacrifice means much more than doing without, or foregoing some pleasure. Its root meaning has much more to do with an offering to God. Old Testament saints gave up a firstborn animal, but offered it up to God. They gave up something, but dedicated it to God. In positively giving something to God, whether praise, worship, time or money, we dedicate it to God. He honors such sacrifices with His blessings, leading us to sacrifice even more.

In this life, our own lives should reflect a sacrifice to God:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).

The thought is not giving to God with groaning reluctance, we’re not sure God would delight in that. We give with delight, knowing the God we serve is worthy of all praise and sacrifice. Sacrifice contributes to our joy:

“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Philippians 2:17).

Time given to God is not lost, but when given in a right spirit, it ascends to the very throne of God. Of course, everything begins with offering our life to God.

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