Sacrifice and Relationship
Psalm 51:16-17 state, "For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart- These, O God, You will not despise."
The dictionary definition of sacrifice is "an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy." Sometimes we humans believe if such and such of a person made this sacrifice for me, then I need to make this sacrifice for them. Although this shouldn't be the case, we often feel this way... at least I do!
As I search the Scriptures, I cannot find God commanding us to make this kind of a worldly sacrifice. This to me is one of the most freeing truths in the Bible! Here we have Jesus making the ultimate sacrifice for us and He doesn't have a "to do" list for us to meet Him half way. God only desires for us to have a broken spirit and a contrite heart! He doesn't even command it... He only DESIRES it! He desires it because He desires to bless us! Yes, this is unconditional love!
This truth gives me the desire to give the Lord the sacrifices that He is pleased with. This is what I found...
Psalm 107:22 "Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing."
Psalm 141:2 "Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."
Ecclesiastes 5:1 "Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give sacrifice of fools..."
Hosea 6:6 "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."
Hebrews 13:15 "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."
Notice that NONE of the sacrifices God desires from us include doing anything difficult... or even challenging. He doesn't want anything EXCEPT to have a relationship with us. How awesome to ponder! If you haven't made time for Him this week, why wouldn't you want to? We have the freedom to talk to the Creator of all things, the King of Kings, Jesus, God of all! Let's give Him His desire and get to know Him!