Honoring God with Sacrifices 

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Honoring God with our resources is a form of "spiritual sacrifice."  A spiritual sacrifice is something that we do to worship God and affirm his Lordship over us.  Peter explained, "You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5 NASB).   Peter went on to explain why we should offer spiritual sacrifices:

9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV

God called us out of darkness into the light so that we would bring glory to him through worship.  In view of the incredible price that he paid for our redemption, we owe it to him to offer our bodies, finances, talents, time and other resources as sacrifices to honor him.  

Examples of spiritual sacrifices

Your body:  Our bodies are very important to God.  In fact, Paul wrote that the body is meant for the Lord and the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13).  This means that God wants to use our bodies to bring his light and truth to the people in our lives.  We bear his image and are ambassadors of his love.  If we use our bodies for evil, we contribute to hindering God's work on earth and may even become instruments of the devil.  Conversely, if we use our bodies for good, we further God's work.  Paul wrote, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1 NKJV).  Here are some examples of how we can honor God with our bodies (Romans 6:13): 

Your money:  Many people are caught up in the pursuit of riches, impairing their relationship with God.  Paul wrote, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV).  The way to recover from a such a condition or to prevent it from happening starts with being generous with the money God has given us.  Here are few scriptures that confirm this:

"I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed." Psalm 37:25-26 NIV

"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" Proverbs 11:25 NIV

"A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor." Proverbs 22:9 NIV

Being generous is a separate issue from giving a tithe of your earnings to the Lord (typically 10%).  Generous giving is over and above what we are tithing to our church or ministry.  It truly reflects our heart condition and who is Lord over our finances.  Practical ways to make this sacrifice include:

Your spirit and heart:  Though this sacrifice may seem less tangible, it is extremely important for us to practice.  This sacrifice is made by laying down our pride and putting on humility.   Pride sets God against us (Leviticus 26:19, Proverbs 15:25) and makes us vulnerable to the devil.   Humility  invites God to work through and in us (James 4:6-8).  

The desire to control our lives is a common symptom of pride.   The question we can ask ourselves is, "Who really is Lord of my life?"  Have we truly made Jesus Lord over our decisions, or have we simply given him lip service and kept ourselves on the "throne" of our life?  Too many people declare allegiance to Jesus, and then continue to live as lord of their life never submitting to Jesus.   If we think we can do a better job in running our life than God, or are constantly trying to wrestle control back from him, we're suffering from pride! 

David wrote, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart--These, O God, You will not despise" (Psalm 51:17 NKJV).  A broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart create a picture of true humility.  It is up to us to "put on" humility.   Peter described putting on humility like putting on a garment in 1 Peter 5:5-6.  Practical ways to do this include:  

Your words:  The highest purpose for our speech is to praise God.  God has given us tongues and lips to declare the wonders of his glory and salvation to all creation.  Hebrews 13:15 NIV says,  "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."  Too often we use our speech for everything but praising God.  Our tongue is a tool with which we can sow good or evil.  God calls us to honor him by how we speak and to not speak evil (James 4:11-12).  

James characterized speaking evil as mixing bitter water with fresh water.  As a result, the bitter water corrupted the fresh water (James 3:11-12).  Likewise our evil words will corrupt us and we will be judged by those words (Matthew 12:36-37).   The Bible gives us clear instruction about what to avoid verbally.  Examples of things to avoid include:

On the other hand, our positive words can refresh and restore us and others just as fresh water refreshes and restores our bodies.  Examples of speaking good words include 

Personal Application Questions

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