Today I want to talk to you about offering yourself to God as a sacrifice. We have all heard about something being a sacrifice, but what exactly does it mean to be a sacrifice, or tl make a sacrifice?
To make a sacrifice means to offer something up, usually to God. To sacrifice means to offer something up to God because you worship Him. Now, crazy and murderous people offer up other people to God because they think they are supposed to kill other people as part of their religion. We know that these kind of people are not worshipping God, they are worshipping Satan. Killing someone because they do no want to follow your religion is a sin. It is murder. But the people doing the killing are so blind that they do not think that they are doing anything wrong.
To make a sacrifice to God means to destroy something. Some people think that it is good to burn other people’s houses as a sacrifice to God. Some other deceived people think that it is good to strap bombs onto themselves and kill others as an offering to God. Some people think it is good to fill a car or truck with bombs and kill other people in the name of Allah, or in the name of God.
But sacrifice comes from the root word sacred. And to be sacred means to be holy, to be good, to be good. So killing other people is not sacred, it is evil, and it is murder. If you believe in killing other people because of what they believe, you are an evil devil worshipper. You are not following the teachings or desires of God or Allah. (And for those of you who do not know, Allah is just the Arabic word for God).
To sacrifice yourself to God means to offer yourself to God and to ask Him what it is He would like you to do. To sacrifice yourself to God or Allah means to offer yourself to Him upon the altar, to give Him your life, to serve Him. But to serve Him means to love and be kind to other people, not to harm them or kill them.
To be a sacrifice to God means to dedicate yourself to Him. But first you have to serving the true God, not some idea about a God who wants you to kill other people. That is not God speaking to you, that is Satan speaking to you. Because the Bible says, “Satan came to kill, steal and destroy. God came to give you eternal life and a life full of joy and peace.”
The Bible says that God wants us to offer ourselves upon His altar as an act of service. He wants us to give God our bodies and our minds in order for us to serve Him. The Bible says: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”
Lay down your own dreams, and goals, and aspirations. Put down everything in your heart and in your mind, everything that it is that you want to do, let go of this world and all its desires, and offer yourself to God. Kill your own desires and dreams and goals. Put them on the altar and let them burn.
Jesus said to us: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
Giving up your life means giving up the ambitions and goals that are driving your life. Let me give you 2 examples from my life. One example from my life was when I was around 45 or so years old I wanted to go into the financial world and make more money. That was about 10 years ago. I was a Christian but I had a desire to make more money. So I took finance courses, and wrote tests, and was ready to start on a second career. But them the Holy Spirit spoke to me through a friend who said to me, “you almost 50 years old, why do you want to go into finances, why don’t you just spend the rest of your life serving God and doing things for him?”
That’s when I decided I would spend my time serving the Lord in Somali Christian Ministries rather than start a second career in finance. I offered myself to the Lord. I put my dreams and goals on the altar and burned them. I died to myself, I put all my dreams and goals on the cross, I died to my own goals and ambitions and allowed God to work in me and give the dreams and goals He wanted me to have.
That is what the Bible means when it says offer yourselves up to God as a living sacrifice. I died, but not physically, I killed my dreams and my goals, I killed what I thought was worth living for, and said to God, you tell me what is worth living for, you tell me what it is you want me to do, and how you want me to spend my time.
The second example of offering myself to God as a living sacrifice came one day when I was crying over the fact that my daughter was very sick with a terminal disease, a disease that will kill her if God does not miraculously heal her. I asked God what I should do, and then I read this Scripture: “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
I offered up to God my fears about my daughter, I offered up to God my pain and sorrow and depression about my daughter, I offered up to God the fact that I didn’t know why He was not healing her. And God spoke to me through His work and said keep my commandments. And God’s commandment is that we love other people. So God wa s telling me to keep loving my daughter, and do the best I can for her, and not to give up my faith in Him.
To sacrifice also means to eat certain foods and not others, to wear certain clothes and not others, and you may believe that you are doing these things for God. But God doesn’t very much care about what you eat and what you wear, He cares about what is in your heart and how it is you treat other people.
So take care of the orphans and the widows, feed the hungry, give something to drink to the thirsty, give clothes to those who don’t have any. Put other people first and take care of their needs. Then you will be offering yourself to God as a living sacrifice.