Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘heroes’

Sacrifice

“Sacrifice” is a word often used nowadays to speak of giving up something for a greater cause.  Examples would be military heroes who gave up their lives or health for the sake of their country, or people who give up some financial or lifestyle advantage for the sake of what they see as higher priority.

“Sacrifice” in the Bible always refers to gifts given to God, or to false gods, in worship.  In Old Testament times, people would bring an animal to God to be slaughtered and often burned entirely.  Grain offerings would accompany these gifts.  But these were external acts that could be done regardless of one’s attitude toward God.  Often, via the His prophets, God insisted that he doesn’t want people’s sacrifices of cattle, sheep, grain, etc. so much as he desires their obedience…

Since Jesus has come and has become the ultimate and final sacrifice to put us right with God (Hebrews 9:26), we might think that sacrifice is a thing of the past.  And so it is, if we’re speaking of the kind of sacrifices described above.  However, the following “sacrifices” are listed in the New Testament as appropriate and necessary gifts to God from His people:

Our bodies 
       …present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1 NET)  Contrary to public opinion, my body is not my own!  (See also 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Our faithful service to God 
      But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. (Philippians 2:17 NLT)

Our support of those who are spreading God’s message
     …the gifts you sent…are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:18 NIV)

Praise to God 
     …let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. (Hebrews 13:15 NLT)

Doing good and sharing with others 
     And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. (Hebrews 13:16 NLT)

Audacious Faith

Israel was in big trouble. That big Philistine had kept them quaking in their boots for over a month already.  It seemed hopeless.  Stalemate. 

Then comes Little Brother with food and lots of questions.  But wait–this “little brother” was the one who had been anointed as the next king right in front of his older brothers!  And he’s the one who had killed a lion and a bear bare-handed.  And now with God’s power, Goliath was no match for him!  “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?…The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”  And He did.  (1 Samuel 17, NLT) 

Now back up.  His soon-to-be best friend Jonathan had done a very similar thing just three chapters before.  With only his armor-bearer, he successfully attacked a Philistine outpost saying, “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” And He did.

Don’t you love it?  These guys are my heroes.  God still does miracles, and He still uses people who step out boldly for His cause, depending on Him.  I want to be one of them!

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