Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Cost of Sacrifice

“The king answered Araunah, ‘No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’” (2 Samuel 24:24 CSB)

David got it. He understood the concept of sacrifice and worship, offering, and giving. There is always a cost associated with it, and for it to be genuine, the cost has to be borne by the one giving it. That is what makes the offering significant. That is why it isn’t how much someone gives, but the cost of the giving that is important. Jesus remarked to His disciples once about a widow who put her last two pennies into the temple treasury as her offering that she gave more than any of the others did, though the size of her offering was miniscule in comparison. Sacrifice determines significance, and sacrifice costs.

Our American forefathers, the pioneers of our nation, paid some huge costs in order to give the sacrifices they gave, so that we could have this life of freedom we now enjoy. Millions of others along the way have contributed their sacrifices as well. That is why each year we give thanks to God during a season we call “Thanksgiving.”

Paul said to the Thessalonians, “We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our prayers.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2 CSB) He went on to remark about what he recalled when he prayed. He recalled their “works of faith, labors of love, and the endurance of their hope.” These were their sacrifices, each with a cost: faith, hope, and love. So their sacrifices prompted thanksgiving. It always does when we take the time to remember and recall how we’ve gotten to where we are.

Lord, We thank You for the sacrifice You gave on the cross for us, a cost we cannot even begin to understand. Yet, we accept the grace of Your sacrifice, and we do so today with hearts of thanksgiving. Amen.

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