“When a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD to fulfill a special vow or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it. Those that are blind or fractured or maimed or having a running sore or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the LORD, nor make of them an offering by fire on the altar to the LORD.”
Leviticus 22:21-22 NASB
Only the best.
We are called to be living sacrifices for the Lord. As ambassadors of Jesus Christ we represent our Savior here on earth. We share the Gospel and serve as His hands and feet. To serve the Lord is a sacrifice indeed.
Faithful service may cost you many of the things you hold dear. Jobs may be lost, friendships may fade, even fellow believers may turn their backs on you as your faith deepens and their lack of faith becomes more apparent by comparison.
There is great temptation to hold back in the face of such potential loss. We seek to bring a sacrifice that is good enough, but not our best. I am guilty of this. I can remember so many times that I found myself with my life so crowded that I had little time to really focus on the things of God.
I brought my lame sacrifice to the altar, made efforts to spruce it up with colorful words, grand intentions and feigned deliberation. To the outside observer it all looked good. But God can see the flaws, the scabs, the running sores.
In a very real sense my audacity was driven by unbelief. I lacked the reverence for the truly dangerous God I served. I may never know the full extent of His grace that prevented Him from destroying me.
As the Lord brought me to my knees through trial and storm, I found an increasing solemnity in making my sacrifice. There was gravity that made my efforts more deliberate. Every aspect of my worship has been affected, from my percussion, to my prayer, my teaching and my daily ministry.
I go about conscious of what I am doing. I want the sacrifice to be perfect. Even my morning posts are scrutinized all day, with corrections being made as I read and reread for errors.
I want to give all my best. He is worthy of that. God sent His best for us. Jesus came into the world and laid aside the glory to walk as one of us. He humbled Himself. Imagine the full power of Jehovah Sabaoth, clothed in human form, yet yielding none of His majesty and deity.
Jesus Himself sacrificed His very presence for those who believe. He will appear as one slain, bearing the marks of One crucified for all eternity. God gave His best.
Giving my best is truly exhausting. I remember years ago my church hosted the Integrity Music conference. On the opening morning the praise band was selected to open. Quite an honor. I had completed chemo a few months earlier and as still weak. I poured all that I had into the percussion. I remember limping off the platform and making a b-line to the bathroom to collapse in a sweaty, tearful heap.
Every day is a sacrifice these days as I yield my body to be burned in the service of my Lord. I urge you to bring your best to the altar. Make time with Him a priority. The wonderful thing is that your sacrifice cannot even come close to the blessings that God brings. Just having intimacy with Him is enough.
“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
Genesis 22:7-8 KJV