Sacrifice. A word rife with meaning and colored by perspective.
A sacrifice is a loss or something you give up, usually for the sake of a better cause. Parents sacrifice time, sleep, and money to take care of their children, while kids might sacrifice hanging out with their friends to pursue a musical or athletic dream. Though no longer used only in a religious context, sacrifice comes from the Latin sacra and facere, meaning “to perform sacred rites.”
A powerful lesson about sacrifice is taught by the Apostle Paul in his letter (Epistle) to the Romans, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV).”
How does one present their body as a living sacrifice? The magnetic pull of conformity to the world grows stronger every day. A ubiquitous—and dangerous pull that can only be repelled by the Truth of God’s Word as we place it in our hearts and minds and walk it out daily in all that we say and do. This month’s Precious Gems teaching is all about sacrifice in the spiritual sense of the word—and deed. I hope you will read Filled with the Spirit – A Burnt Offering with an open heart, mind, and spirit. That it will encourage you to reflect on your dedication to God and commitment to the Lord as you consider offering the complete sacrifice of yourself—your life in service to Him.
To make a sacrifice means being willing to sacrifice ourselves. It means giving up our time, our energy, and in extreme cases, even our lives. Jesus’ death for us was the perfect sacrifice. God forgives us because Yeshua paid the penalty for us. So we need to confess our evil deeds to God. And we need to invite Jesus into our lives. The sacrifice He paid as God’s Passover Lamb, was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.
Dear readers, what does sacrifice mean to you?
As you read this July/August issue of Kaleidoscope, I pray you will experience a deeper level of spiritual growth as you study God’s Word and His perspective on sacrifice.
May these words from the late Louis Finkelstein, a Talmud scholar and a former President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America touch your heart as they have mine…
“When I pray, I speak to God. When I study, God speaks to me.”