view as web pdf Sacrifices

Think about the boy who gave away his lunch to a crowd of five thousand hungry people. The people had trailed Jesus to a grassy mountain side, apparently so engrossed in listening to him that they forgot to think ahead, they hadn’t brought food. One boy’s few loaves and fish only highlighted the crowds vast need. “But what are they among so many?” Andrew asked, but the boy offered his lunch anyway.

He gave what he had because he knew everyone was hungry, and sharing seemed like the right thing to do; perhaps he knew that Jesus could do miraculous things - but how could he imagine what Jesus was about to do with his small gift? Jesus called for everyone to sit down. He took the boy’s lunch, gave thanks and a meal was served. How the boy’s faith in Jesus must have grown then!

We have to learn a lesson from this boy. When you are surrounded by even great needs, come forward with your morsel. Give willingly because it is the right thing to do. Give trustingly to the one who knows how to apply small gifts to great needs. Let your faith grow as you watch Him take your offering, and do not worry whether there will be anything left for yourself. Now think about the Father who was asked to sacrifice his son to God. What God asked of Abraham appals us: “Go to the mountain. Offer your only son, who you love, as a burnt offering to me.” Abraham was familiar with sacrifices. He often offered sheep or cattle at significant moments when he felt God near. But this request for his son was quite unexpected. Why would God give a promised son and then take him away so cruelly? There appeared to be no reason at all for the request. Yet Abraham obeyed. He took Isaac to the mountain; he tied Isaac and laid him on the altar. In Abraham’s mind, the sacrifice was made: he reached for a knife to finish the task. The Bible, the word of God, tells us that God was testing Abraham when God saw that Abraham had truly given up his son, he ended the test and spared Isaac’s life.

God saw more in Abraham’s offering than the sacrifice itself. He saw godly fear in Abraham’s heart and that is what pleased Him most. God rewarded Abraham with the promise of a great posterity that would be a blessing to all nations. We can learn a lesson from Abraham: consider that sometimes God may ask you to give up something dear for reasons He alone can see. Do not rebel. Humbly surrender the offering to God, and may He see in your heart the godly devotion that He delights to reward. We should never be proud of the sacrifices we make for God, or how He uses them. After all, God made the greatest sacrifice for us. Like the boy who gave his lunch, God saw a throng of needy people. Like Abraham, He gave His only son. In this was manifested the love of

God toward us, because God sent His only begotten son into the world (1 John 4:9). Only because God first loved us, do we have anything to offer (1 John 14:19). Are we willing to make the sacrifices it takes to teach our children the way of truth? The Lord will always bless our contribution. May we always receive God’s gift of sacrificial love and inspire our brethren and sisters with love for the truth as well.

Bro Gaius Egwu (Ohafia, Nigeria)

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