The word sacrifice isn’t used much nowadays, but in the Old Testament, animal sacrifices were the prescribed means of worshipping God. Each person seeking atonement for sins brought an animal to be killed by the priest and burned on the altar.
Once an animal was offered to God, no one ever tried to yank it off the altar or take a portion back. Yet in a way, that describes what some Christians do. Romans 12:1 specifies that we’re to worship by presenting “[our] bodies a living and holy sacrifice” to God. However, when our good intentions fade, we may be tempted to jump off the altar.
Sacrifice implies the surrender of one thing for the sake of something more precious.
What comes to mind when you think of sacrifice? Do you associate it with loss? Although that is part of it, sacrifice also implies the surrender of one thing for the sake of something more precious. What you offer to God won’t ever equal what you’ll receive from Him.
Here’s something to consider: A living sacrifice emphasizes not death but life. Yes, it will require a death to self and sin, but in exchange, you’ll receive Christ’s life in and through you. Recognizing the abundant benefits softens the loss aspect and gives sacrifice meaning and purpose.
I pray that this month’s devotions will help focus your mind on the Lord, who is worthy of everything we relinquish for His sake. As you consider what He is calling you to surrender, never forget what He has sacrificed for you—His beloved Son.