Since the fall of man, sacrifices were offered to God for a variety of reasons. The first time we see sacrifice is in Genesis 4 when Cain and Abel presented their sacrifices to the Lord. Their sacrifice was an offering to God out of thankfulness for God‚Äôs provision with the crops and livestock. Writer of Hebrews sheds more light on the sacrifice of Abel.
“By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” Hebrews 11:4
Abel’s sacrifice shows:
1. Sacrifices are to be made in faith. Abel brought his first fruits, and had faith that God would provide for his and his family’s needs. The Bible says God looked favorably at this act of faith. When we sacrifice, we feel that there is a stirring from the Holy Spirit, but it is a whisper. The voice we hear most is one of “reason” saying that we cannot part with this amount of money, or we cannot dedicate that amount of time and energy to that need. It takes faith to overcome those hesitations because they are valid reasons, according to the world, but God is beyond all the brilliant reasonings of the world.Faith is practiced when there is a real risk that must be overcome. Click To Tweet
2. Sacrifices are to God. In the Old Testament, sacrifices were often burnt offerings that were directly meant for God. Since Christ, sacrifice looks different, but it is still for God. We see that the early church sacrificed EVERYTHING for God, even though it was not direct. They gave their money to the poor and took care of orphans and widows. Jesus said in Matthew 25 “as you did to one of the least of these [the poor, widows, imprisoned] my brothers, you did it to me.” Therefore, we give to God through other people, churches, charities, or ministries.
3. Sacrifice may yield a variety of rewards. Abel did not see any physical reward for his sacrifice, but God spoke favorably of him, and thousands of years later, we still read and hear of his sacrifice. The thing Abel received was an inner witness that God approved of his sacrifice.When we sacrifice we must be satisfied with an inner witness and understanding that the Lord is pleased with us for stepping out in faith. Click To Tweet
Sometimes we see a physical reward through financial breakthrough or seeing a relationship restored, or however His creativity sees fit. However, that is often not the case. Many times it is simply being humble, and saying “God, this sacrifice is for you. Please give me your witness that you are pleased, and the only reward I ask for is to be nearer to you, and I will accept anything you choose to give me in return.”
The act of offering a sacrifice should be added into our regular Christian walk with God. Sacrifices show our trust in believing that God is who He claims He is. There are few clearer acts of faith that we can offer to God than sacrificing to Him, and trusting that He will respond in a loving and appropriate way. To encourage you even more to give a sacrifice, I remind you that everything we are given, from finances to talents to time, are all gifts that God gave to us. There is nothing we can give Him that He did not first give us. This is how we can give a more excellent sacrifice to the Lord of Heaven and Earth.
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