Sermon Notes

July 8, 2015

Is Sacrifice Still Essential?

Many times I think we’re guilty of thinking sacrifices were only required in the Old Testament. There are entire books of the bible dedicated to what was acceptable to the Lord as penance for sins. Though we are under a new covenant, one of freedom, sacrifice is still very much essential.

We read in 1 Kings what happens when God’s fire consumes the sacrifices of His people. Everything His fire touches was completely obliterated, and that was the point. When they presented acceptable sacrifices, God sent His fire.

The God of yesterday is the same God of today! His character hasn’t changed. Sacrifices still move Him; they’ve just taken on a different form. A sanctified life, one set a part … that is our sacrifice unto God!

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12:1-2 The Message).

A life lived well is a sacrifice unto the Lord. And when He sees an acceptable sacrifice, He sends His fire. Are you in need of guidance? The fire guides. Need direction? It illuminates! Maybe you feel worn out or exhausted. The fire energizes!

Obtaining perfection will by no means promote us in the Kingdom of God, nor is it possible. We would never be able to do enough good works to earn a pass into the kingdom. But our good works do not go unnoticed. When done with a right heart, they bring the favor of God and the fire falls!

I hear testimonies weekly of people facing struggles they never anticipated yet refusing to waiver in their convictions. And the Lord sends His power and grace! Without fail, even when situations don’t change, it is His fire that gets them through.

Don’t be consumed by your problems, worries or addictions. Every time we lay ourselves on the altar, when we offer our lives as living sacrifices, then we’re allowing Him to consume us. He sends His fire, and He makes a way.

In your weakness He is strong, but He doesn’t leave you weak! His power will come upon you and give you exactly what you need to make it. Keep fighting the good fight, friends, and let the fire fall!