“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16 NIV
The heavens declare the glory of God! Psalms 19:1a
When I re-read this verse this week, it captured me; sacrifices still please God! Jesus was our ultimate blood sacrifice. He paid the price for each of us with His death on the cross. He saved us through His grace and sacrifice! Blood sacrifices, as described in Leviticus in the Old Testament, are no longer required to reconcile us with God. Jesus paid it all for you and me!
A little history first, l love researching a Bible verse because I learn so much! Some sources say that the first sacrifice was in Genesis 3:21. “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” NKJV After “the fall”, God covered their sin (and their bodies) by shedding the blood of an animal and making the clothing. And in doing so God performed and demonstrated the first atonement sacrifice.
However, this is a lot to infer from one verse in Genesis. The next mention of an offering or sacrifice is in Genesis 4 with Cain and Abel. Which suggests that the act of sacrifice or offerings to God was already established. Cain brought an offering of “the fruit of the ground” to God and Abel brought an offering of “the firstborn of his flock and of their fat” to God. We don’t get a lot of detail but God “respected Abel and his offering” but He “did not respect Cain and his offering”. So it seems that a blood sacrifice was acceptable and pleasing to God.
But how wonderfully blessed we are! Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s love and grace and mercy. He gave His blood and body that we might have abundant life.
Sacrifice is defined as “an offering or a giving up of something” or “an act of offering to a deity something precious”. In Hebrews, Paul suggests that through Jesus, we offer up to God the sacrifice of praise. We are to openly profess His name. We also are encouraged to remember to “do good” and to “share with others” because these, too, are pleasing sacrifices to God.
This week let’s offer pleasing sacrifices to our God.
Let’s openly praise His name and give Him thanks and glory for all He has done for us.
Let’s give up some of our valuable time to help those in our community and neighborhood.
Let’s offer some our God-given abundance and generously share with those in need.
Let’s shed our reluctance and fear and share with everyone our God and our faith.
“With such sacrifices God is pleased”!
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we continue to give God the sacrifices that are pleasing to Him!