What is Sacrifice?
What Is Sacrifice? (2 Samuel 24:18-25)
For many of us it is difficult to answer the question, "What is sacrifice?" Even though sacrifice is central in the life of God's people, it has become marginal in contemporary Christian thinking. David gave us the best definition of sacrifice in the Word: "I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing" (v. 25, NASB).
A sacrifice is that which costs us something in the way we live. It means giving up something I love and cherish for something I love and cherish more. Our capital campaign, Avenues for Advance, will only reach its goals as we together—all of us—reach out to touch sacrifice.
Sacrifice Begins in the Desire to Worship God
The word of God came to David with an invitation to worship. That word designated a specific place, time, and circumstance to worship God. The place was a threshing floor in Jerusalem. The time was immediately. The circumstance was a great need in the land.
Avenues for Advance should first and last be a great act of worship to God. If it is less than that, it is not truly biblical sacrifice. Our pledges should be made in a holy, praise-filled, joyful act of worship.
Sacrifice Grows with a Refusal to Offer God that Which Costs Me Nothing
David had the opportunity to offer to God a free, cheap, absolutely costless worship. Araunah attempted to give David the altar, the sacrifice, and even the wood to burn the sacrifice. It was a "package deal" that would allow David cheap, inexpensive worship. It has always been the temptation of God's people to give God a worship that costs them nothing. It grieves God when His people give Him the least and the worst, instead of the first and the best (Mal. 1:13-14).
In the future, everybody in our fellowship will enjoy the fruit of Avenues for Advance. Both those who sacrifice and those who give nothing will alike enjoy the use of new facilities and new ministries. The question is one of integrity and worship: "Will I allow others to sacrifice for what I will enjoy?" A good practical question to ask is this: "If everyone gave at my personal level of sacrifice, would it be worthy of God?"
Sacrifice Results in a Costly Offering Which Pleases God
David did offer to God that which cost him something. Initially, he bought the threshing floor and the oxen for sacrifice. Ultimately, he paid a much larger price for the whole area that would become the temple (1 Chron. 21:25).
As a result of David's costly worship, the plague was averted from the land (v. 25). No one could disagree that many plagues assault our land today. To know freedom from these plagues will include sacrifice on the part of God's people at His house.