A Sacrifice Acceptable
But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. ~Philippians 4:18
The word sacrifice implies the life of a victim being offered. It is a word that is used 29 times in the New Testament, and the majority of its usage is by the Apostle Paul. Paul understood the concept and cost involved with a sacrifice. All of us have a subjective idea of sacrifice. We sacrifice time and sleep for an important deadline and project. We sacrifice beyond our normal giving when we give something that is more in value. However, Paul speaks about a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. Let us see the meaning of this and its personal impact on us.
We see the expensive.
A true sacrifice means something costly and very expensive is being given up. A sacrifice means whatever we give up will not come back to us. The sacrifice is the best that someone has to offer. It is not giving up something that is broken, diseased, disabled, lesser, or left over. Recently, the teenage daughter of one of our missionaries needed a kidney donor. Her mother quickly told the doctors that she would give up one of her healthy kidneys to help save the life of her daughter. She gave her best. However, a sacrifice means not only our best, but, also, that which is most costly to us.
We see the expressive.
A sacrifice expresses our sincerity and love. Paul calls it an odor of a sweet smell. Incense offered with a sacrifice on the altar brought a sweet-smelling fragrance into the nostrils of those who entered the area. It was an agreeable odor. It was an aromatic odor. It left behind a fragrance. When Mary of Bethany broke her alabaster box and poured her ointment of spikenard on the head and body of Jesus, the odor filled the house. Everyone present in the house knew that ointment equivalent to one year’s wages was given as an offering. It expressed her love, sincerity, and devotion to our Lord.
We see the economic.
Paul said, “Ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.” In Hebrews 13:16, Paul said, “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” The word communicate means there was a substantial monetary gift. As we read Philippians 4 and 2 Corinthians 8-9, we are exhorted to make monetary gifts that are beyond our capability. It is allowing the grace of God to work in us to impart something that will benefit other people.
We see the existence.
We are called to give our body, our life, as a living sacrifice to God in Romans 12:1-2. It is our reasonable service to present our body to the Lord. The hymn writer wrote, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.” Our life is the greatest sacrifice that we can make. It is considering that we are making our life available
for a lifetime of service to God.
We see the excellent.
Our sacrifices must be acceptable and well-pleasing to God. God should be satisfied and pleased with what we give to Him. The dedication of our life and a monetary sacrifice are to be well-pleasing. To give anything other than what is well-pleasing to God is similar to Ananias and Sapphira, who held back their offering. Sacrifices were a daily, continuous practice among the Jews. May the Lord give us the grace to have the heart for making sacrifices that are well-pleasing and acceptable.
Have a sacrificial God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 27-29