Thankful Thursday - Sacrifice
Laurie, from Women Taking a Stand, is hosting this week. She has chosen a great theme for Thankful Thursday as we are coming up on Easter.
I was thinking about sacrifice and noticed that the word sacrifice, or a variant thereof, is used:
- 310 times in the KJV Bible
- 357 times in the NIV Bible
- 284 times in the ESV Bible
- 417 times in the NLT Bible
- 327 times in the AMP Bible
- 245 times in the MSG Bible
Considering the number of times this word or a variant of it is used in the different versions, the frequency of its mention helps me realize how important it is.
Sacrifice provides redemption, deliverance, reconciliation, repentance, cancellation, justification of righteousness, and cleansing, and sonship, according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia.
I think of how the OT sacrifices began. The first blood shed on Earth was by God to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness.
"The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." ~ Genesis 3:21 (NIV)
From there sacrifices were made of animals, food, drink, time, etc., in an effort for reconciliation or expressions of love to God. Redemption and reconciliation were needed to be made for sin and there was a set system for making proper sacrifices set in place.
Finally, the law was fulfilled through Christ.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." ~ Matthew 5:17 (NIV)
The Sacrifice of all sacrifices was made. Brutally murdered by man, what man meant for bad, God meant for good. He had a plan! Christ did not stay in the grave. He rose!
I praise God for the sacrifice of Christ.
Vines Expository Dictionary says, "akin to hileos ("merciful, propitious"), signifies "an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted." It is used in the NT of Christ Himself as "the propitiation," in 1Jo 2:2; 4:10, signifying that He Himself, through the expiatory sacrifice of His Death, is the Personal means by whom God shows mercy to the sinner who believes on Christ as the One thus provided. In the former passage He is described as "the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." The italicized addition in the AV, "the sins of," gives a wrong interpretation. What is indicated is that provision is made for the whole world, so that no one is, by Divine predetermination, excluded from the scope of God's mercy; the efficacy of the "propitiation," however, is made actual for those who believe. In 1Jo 4:10, the fact that God "sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins," is shown to be the great expression of God's love toward man, and the reason why Christians should love one another. In the Sept., Lev 25:9; Num 5:8; 1Ch 28:20; Psa 130:4; Eze 44:27; Amo 8:14."
Our debt was paid and we no longer have to offer the sacrifices of the Old Testament in order for God to be pleased with us. There are personal sacrifices we can make, though, as we walk down the narrow road on the way to eternity.
Questions for Reflection: What does Christ's sacrifice mean to you personally? Are you willing to spread the Good News for Him?
Verse for the Day: "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." ~ 1 John 4:10 (NIV)
Prayer: Father, thank You so very much for sending your Son to die for my sins and for the sins of the world. I cannot imagine the agony the ultimate sacrifice You made. I cannot imagine what You endured, simply because You loved us and wanted us to be reconciled to You, to spend eternity with You in Heaven. Thank You for Your willingness to die for me, Jesus. With tears in my eyes as I pray, my heart sings with joy at knowing You overcame death and that one day I will be with You forever. Thank You for Your Word and may I read it continue to read it faithfulfully, searching for the truths You have to reveal to me each time those precious pages are open. Help me be a good witness to those around me so that they won't miss out because of me. Help me make the sacrifices in my life that I should to honor You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
S - Seek God's approval rather than the approval of man. "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." ~ Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
A - Adjust my attitude to be content with whatever God gives me. "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. " ~ Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
C - Consider slowing down if activities get in the way of family time and time with God. "Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife." ~ Proverbs 17:1 (NIV)
R - Renounce the desires of this world and look toward eternity. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)
I - Immitate Christ's humility, sacrificing any pride or selfishness. "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." ~ Philippians 2:1-3 (NIV)
F - Fall in love with God's Word all over again. "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." ~ Psalm 119:15-16 (NIV)
I - Increase time spent with the Lord. "How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings." ~ Psalm 36:7 (NIV)
C - Cultivate the fruits of the Spirit and spread the seeds from them. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
E - Endure persecution for Christ gladly. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." ~ Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
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