You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God a bull or sheep which has any blemish or defect, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God.Deuteronomy 17:1
God’s love moved him to sacrifice that which meant the most to him— his only Son. Our response, if we truly understand his love for us, is the desire to give back to God that which means the most to us.
The Old Testament reveals that God set forth high standards for the sacrifices he required of his people. A worthy sacrifice had to cost the people something. As their hearts shifted away from God, the people began struggling to give God costly offerings. They would bring blind, lame, and sick animals, assuming God could not tell the difference:
“When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.”Malachi 1:8
God saw what they were doing and declared their offerings to be in vain:
““Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.”Malachi 1:10
Throughout the Old Testament period, God was setting the stage for the ultimate, perfect, and sinless sacrifice of his Son for the sins of humanity.
The offerings we give back to God reveal our hearts’ condition. A heart that overflows with gratitude for God’s love will respond in selfless devotion. If we are unwilling to sacrifice our time, our possessions, our money, or our energy, we indicate that we do not love God as he desires. God takes delight in the person who gives to him cheerfully out of a loving heart, a person who understands that God is the source of everything he has and who knows that God will more than compensate for whatever is sacrificed for him:
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”2 Corinthians 9:8
If you struggle in giving your best offerings to God, pause and reflect on what God sacrificed for you. Trust him and give him the best that you have because you love him with all your heart.