READING: 2 Samuel 23-24, Luke 19:1-27
“I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.”
2 Samuel 24:24
Sacrificing for God should not be difficult to do. After all, He gave His own Son for us so that we might become His children. Yet, we miss this point in so many ways. Sometimes we want the benefits of Christianity without paying any cost; that is, we want God’s blessings without our needing to give up anything in turn. In other cases, we think we’re sacrificing when the truth is that our “sacrifice” is really a gift out of our excess – not a sacrifice at all. And, I’ve seen some believers talk so much about what they sacrifice for God that they glorify themselves; in that case, they “sacrifice” only so they get the praise, which means they aren’t sacrificing for God at all.
Sometimes we’re probably all like the guy who emphasizes:
- how much he sacrifices his time for God, when the truth is that he may not always use his time wisely in the first place
- how much he sacrifices his dollars for God, when he’s incredibly blessed anyway
- how he sacrifices his fears to tell others about Jesus, when obedience demands that he evangelize whether or not he’s afraid
- how much he has sacrificed to follow Jesus, when what we give up for Jesus pales in comparison to what we gain in a relationship with our Creator.
We're all like that at times. David, though, got it right when he sought to purchase the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite for a place to build an altar. David had sinned against God when he took a census, and he needed to make offerings on behalf of himself and his nation, who were suffering a plague for David’s sin. Araunah offered to give the king the land (after all, David was the king), but David refused to accept the gift. He would not give to God without sacrifice: “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing” (2 Sam. 24:24). David paid a price for the land, offered a sacrifice to God, and God then stayed the pestilence so the people no longer suffered. He accepted the sacrifice from the king who was willing to sacrifice to do His will.
This text reminds me that the term “sacrifice” doesn’t mean much if no cost is involved in the giving; to put it simply, to sacrifice without sacrifice is no sacrifice at all.
- Choose to genuinely sacrifice something for God today.
- Thank God for paying the ultimate sacrifice for you.
PRAYER: “God, I don’t want to give to You that which costs me nothing. Make me willing to sacrifice for you today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 1-2, Luke 19:28-48