AWE in Worship: Sacrifice

AWE:  An overwhelming feeling of reverential respect or admiration mixed with fear or wonder.

Hebrews 12:28-29 NIV - Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Romans 12:1 NIV -  Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Worship:  Giving God the recognition He deserves.

Hebrews 13:15-16 ESV - Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Consider the word “continually”.  How might you offer the verbal sacrifice of praise to God continually?  Consider the word “neglect”.  Does this command make sense only because we have a natural tendency to withhold good from others?  How might you practice the sacrifices of doing good and sharing this week?  At home?  In your circle of relationships?  With other Christ followers?  Toward unbelievers?

Philippians 4:15-19 NLT -  As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. 16 Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. 17 I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness. 18 At the moment I have all I need—and more!  I am generously supplied with the gifts [money offerings] you sent me with Epaphroditus.  They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever viewed your financial giving to the mission of the church - locally and globally - as a “sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God”?  How should we inwardly apply the truth of  2 Corinthians 9:7 that states that “God loves a cheerful giver” (to the work of the church)?

1 Samuel 15:22-23a NASB - Samuel said,“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.  23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.”

How might you apply this principle of obeying God’s word more faithfully as being even better than making a sacrifice?  Do you consider submitting your will and your life to God’s authority as a form of sacrifice?  How does this Scripture distinguish between attitude (obedience) and action (sacrifice)?

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NIV - For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

How important is the concept of sacrifice in Christian worship when you consider that our celebration of the Lord’s Supper is based on the ultimate sacrifice - Jesus offering Himself to save us?