Above all else, God wants our heart and soul.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Most parents think nothing of giving up their comforts or pleasures for the sake of their children, because they love them. Love seems to always bring out the best in us.
Wise King Solomon was asked to settle an ownership issue between two new mothers. One of their baby’s had died and both mothers claimed the living child was hers. When Solomon demanded the living child be cut in half so each mother could have a part, the real mother begged the king to give the baby to the other mother in order to save its life. She was willing to give up her own child, thus proving her blood relationship.
Such an act of sacrifice can be seen in the lives of people everywhere. We think of first responders and servicemen and women, who not only are willing to risk their own lives for the sake of others, but also their marriages, home life and opportunity to earn a better living.
Are we willing to sacrifice our money, time, talents or lives for the sake of others? Whether we give through volunteering, by attending regular worship service or babysitting our own children, our sacrifice becomes effective only if done with love and godly obedience.
When King Saul disobeyed God, the prophet Samuel told him, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22) Samuel emphasized that sincerity and obedience must be Saul’s reason to make any required sacrifices.
God takes pleasure when we serve Him with hearts of love and obedience Him. God would have our actions accompanied by a heart given over to Him.
The apostle Paul expands on this truth. “I beseech you … to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God …” (Romans 12:1) True sacrifice means setting ourselves apart from the things of the world for God’s use. Our love for Him will become a willing and joy-filled sacrifice for His sake. Just as it did for Jesus, when He sacrificed Himself on the cross, in obedience to His Father and out of love for each of us.
Lord, thank You for Your ultimate sacrifice. Strengthen and empower us to love and serve You in obedience to Your Word—even when letting go of our own desires seems painful. In Jesus’ name, amen.