Cheap Sacrifice


    I believe in the goodness, the endless goodness of the Father through Christ.  I believe in His faithfulness, His mercy, and above all, His unconditional love.  I believe He gives these, and so much more.  I believe they are free, just as I also believe, know, they are not cheap.  To give them cost Him everything, His Son.  To receive them to the fullest extent will cost us as well, and there's the glitch.  We very much want His everything, but we want it to cost us as little as possible.  In fact, nothing is always our most popular idea of price.  How can something that is free incur to us cost?  It's because the cost is not in what we can gather up to give Him in order to get what we want from Him.  The cost to us is far more in what we cannot see than what we can.  To have all of Him, we must surrender all of ourselves.  In 2 Samuel 24, David has come to the threshing floor of one of his subjects, Araunah.  The Father had commanded Him to build an altar to Him there.  When David told Araunah why he had come, Araunah offered to give it to him for nothing.  To this, David replied, "No, I insist on buying it, for I cannot present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing."  I wonder.  If the same offer were made to you and I as to what we are to give Him in worship through every aspect of our lives, would we reply as did David?  Or, would we be overjoyed at the prospect that we can label what we give Him as "worship" even though there has been no cost to us at all?  Not in any area of our lives or that which we hold dear in them.
     Recently I read the account of a missionary to Central Asia of something he saw as concerns one of the sacrificial rites practiced by Muslims.  Animals are offered up for a variety of reasons, one of them being for forgiveness of their sins. (I interject here that I am so thankful that in Christ, that sacrifice is made already for all would receive and believe upon Him.)  Of course, these animals must be procured from somewhere, and usually, from a merchant who specializes in supplying them.  The missionary saw in the window of one such merchant, this sign, "Come to our market for the cheapest sacrifice."  Two questions rise up in my mind and heart.  First, how appealing is such a sign to me?  How anxious am I to find the cheapest, cost free aspects of my life to offer to Him in worship?  What's the "nothing" I want to give Him?  Second, how much like the sign in that window, is the "sign" I consciously or not, wish to have in the "window" of our church fellowship?  Before I can answer, I really do have to, as Christ commanded, "Count the cost."  How do you answer?  How do you count the cost?
    A.W. Tozer once said this; "Christ calls men to carry His cross; we call them to have fun in His name.  He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the comforts modern civilization affords.  He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness......Let us not be shocked that there are disadvantages to the life in Christ!"  So, we come back to the threshing floor of Araunah.  Which relationship transaction will we enter into?  Araunah's offer that costs us nothing, or David's choice, the one that cost him his right to himself?  The choice will be before us every day.  Which one are we continuing to make?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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