Obedience is better than sacrifice.
That doesn’t mean modern Christians shouldn’t make any sacrifices. Quite the opposite is true. A biblical lifestyle of following Christ calls for many sacrifices along the journey.
Of course, I’m not talking about the animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant (Testament). Those were all necessary then, but no longer needed now.
Those bloody sacrifices were always incomplete and had to be repeated. Both the sacrifices and the priests were imperfect. The Day of Atonement had to be repeated year after year. But it’s no longer needed now.
Why? Because PERFECTION has come! Christ is the fulfillment of the Law. He is the supreme sacrifice for our sins. In obedience, He went every step of the way as the sacrificial Lamb of God to the slaughter at Golgotha. As a matter of Bible fact, He is the perfect sacrifice and our Great High Priest.
So what about sacrifice in the Christian life? To sacrifice means that you give up something you want now to have something better later. But the better part that comes later is what you can’t see. Your sacrifice will have to be made by faith.
Is God calling you to count something as a loss and move on towards mature Christian living? Sacrifice it in prayer, let it go, and trust God’s good will. To really know Him is to really trust Him. Love always trusts.
For example, I’ve made many financial sacrifices. I’ve not always bought the nicest clothes that some say a pastor should wear. I’ve never driven the nicest car in the parking lot. And eating in the nicest restaurants has been a rare luxury as well. As a husband and father, I’ve made many necessary sacrifices to provide something better for my family. In a couple of seasons, I’ve sacrificially walked away from a higher salary to obey another ministry call.
The principle of Scripture gained from 1 Samuel 15:22 says obedience is better than sacrifice. But just because obedience is better, doesn’t mean that sacrifices aren’t necessary.
What it means is that disobedience and any amount of sacrifice is still disobedience. And willful disobedience is sin that invites the judgment of God.
To refuse to listen and obey God, and His Word is an act of arrogance from a rebellious heart. This is an ugliness that God can’t bless. Scripture teaches that it’s as bad as practicing witchcraft and worshipping idols.
Sacrifice without obedience is meaningless.
Sacrifice without obedience is meaningless.Tweet
Therefore, the greatest sacrifice any Christian will ever make is walking in obedience. What you gain in obediently serving Christ will be far better than any temporary sacrifice you’ll make.
Obedience is the sacrificial word for the Christian.
Making sacrifices can actually be much harder than what I’ve explained. But, as one hymn says:
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
What kind of sacrifices have you made in your Christian life?