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Candle in the Night

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An Acceptable Sacrifice

I was at a church retreat this weekend and I really enjoyed it.  The girls had a good time (for the most part) and we're all glad to be home.  Our theme scripture was this, Psalms 50:5 "Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."  Our classes and sermons were about making an acceptable sacrifice to God.  There were a couple things said that really touched me and I'd like to share them.

The first was said during a sermon.  Our minister was talking about sacrifices and what made them acceptable to God.  He said (basically: I'm not directly quoting anything here!) that sacrificing something that is already sinful in nature isn't what God is asking for.  You're already supposed to give those up.  So I can't give up my addiction to facebook or my gambling habit (Yes, I am addicted to facebook.  No, I don't have a gambling habit) and say, "Look what I've sacrificed for God!"  Those things are things we need to give up anyway.  They don't really count.

The second thing that really touched me was an analogy that speaks to what IS an acceptable sacrifice.  The minister was speaking in a sermon (I don't remember if it was the same one or a different one.  The weekend kind of runs together!) and gave what he considered a crude analogy, but one that really spoke to my heart.  I'll do my best to repeat it the way he told it.  Imagine that you decide you're going to sacrifice everything for God.  He's asked us to give everything, so you decide to sell everything you own.  You list it all as a package deal on craigslist.  Your home, your food, your clothes, your husband/wife, your kids, your parents and siblings, everything.  You say to "Make me an offer".  Within 20 minutes, you get a call and the man on the line says he'll pay any price you name.  He comes over and counts out the money.  You tell him whatever price you think seems fair - a million dollars, a trilion... - whatever.  He pays you in cash and you give that cash to the church, or the poor, or whatever.  You give it to God.  Then, that Man tells you that He is going to give all your belongings back to you, but He wants you to use them to glorify Him.

Wow.  This really convicted me.  My home, my children, my computer, the internet that comes to our home.  My television.  My car.  Not to mention my voice, my actions, my clothing...  If I've given my life to Christ, I'm to be using all of that - everything that I have which really, is all stuff He gave to me in the first place - to glorify Christ.  And that is an acceptable sacrifice.

That's a hard commitment to make.  I remember at camps as a child making commitments to follow God or read my scriptures more or be more kind to my parents.  At the end of this retreat, I wanted to say that I'd go home and use everything I have for God's glory.  But it's not a light thing to make a commitment to God.  And He doesn't want me to just say it.  He wants me to do it.  He wants me to live it.  And wow, that's hard.



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