by Shayla Asselin
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
A few weeks ago, I was driving along an oak covered road in downtown Savannah. Shadows from the branches were fluttering around the car. Soft music was the background noise as I was lost in thought. Then suddenly, God's Word convicted me. I considered pulling off of the road because the weight of what I felt was just so strong. Instead of stopping, I continued my drive home, got Adalyn settled down for a nap, and started praying and studying. If you have some time, I’d like to share how the Lord has been challenging me over the last couple of months.
Please forgive me if the way I start this paragraph seems in any way boastful or self-centered. I believe by the time you finish reading this, you’ll understand the reason I list some of the ministries I am involved in. The most important ministries I am called to are within the four walls of my home as a wife and mother. Outside of the home, my husband and I have the privilege of teaching the awesome teenagers at our church. I’m happily a part of the Pursuing Virtue team. I’m honored to be able to tell the world about Jesus and share the Hope of the Gospel via videos, pictures, and designs on my church’s social media and website. At Heritage Bible College, I teach, work in the office, and manage social media.
I made that list because I consider my involvement in those ministries a sacrifice unto God. By definition, a sacrifice is “surrendering a possession as an offering to God.” I’m surrendering the time, effort, money, and talent (no matter how small it may be) that God gave me back to Him and I am presenting it as an offering upon the altar of sacrifice. And this is exactly where God convicted me.
The Old Testament teaches us many things about sacrifices, but the main attribute of a sacrifice I have been challenged about recently is the quality. Bible readers will know that in order for God to accept a sacrifice, it had to be without blemish. It couldn’t be leftovers. It had to be the best.
A couple months ago, as I was driving down that road, I was thinking about how many years I had been involved in the different ministries I listed. That’s when I became convicted by the thought, “What good is my sacrifice if I’m not offering my best.” It doesn’t matter how noble a ministry or how many years I dedicate to something, if I’m not offering God my best, He doesn’t accept the sacrifice. That thought literally brought me to tears because I don’t want to reach the end of my time here on earth with nothing but wasted sacrifices.
I know another entire article could be written about the story of Cain and Abel. Where we first learn the principle that “to obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22) Cain brought his best but his sacrifice was not accepted because he sacrificed what was more convenient for him. How many times have I been guilty of trying to sacrifice something else because it was easier and a little more comfortable only to find that God would not accept it.
So I want to clarify that if we are sacrificing something that God has not called us to sacrifice, it doesn’t matter how perfect it is, God will not accept it. However, my main goal today is to encourage those of us who are sacrificing what we believe God has called us to. I’ll also note that each of our “bests” are different. Some of us are just simply better at certain things then others, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to not do our best in whatever sacrifice we are offering God. I'll also note that our best is not always synonymous with perfect. I write this with the full understanding that most everything I do will not be absolutely perfect. But, we know when we do or do not do our best.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” The idea contained in sacrifice is that of dedication. We are to dedicate our bodies to God. But there is to be this distinction between the old Jewish sacrifices and the Christian sacrifice: the one was of dead animals, the other of the living man. The worshiper must offer, or present, before God, himself, with all of his being directed consciously to God’s service. The qualification sought for in the Jewish sacrifices was that they were to be unblemished, without spot. In like manner, the Christian’s sacrifice must be holy and pure in God’s sight, otherwise it will not be accepted by Him.
Since God gave His best for us, should we give any less to Him?
Do we give God our best moments in devotion or do we give Him the remains of our day?
Do we give our best effort on the job or do we do just enough to get by and receive a paycheck?
Do we give our best offerings to God or just tip Him?
The scripture says that we HONOR the Lord when we give Him our best. The good news is that when we give the best, obedient sacrifice, nothing is wasted at Jesus’ feet. As Christians, we have the opportunity to glorify God in every area of our life, no matter how big or small we may think it is. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
God has really challenged me to make sure my sacrifices are my best. Because a sacrifice that is less than my best is a wasted sacrifice.