What God Does With Your Sacrifice

 “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart …” – Genesis 8:21 NIV

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

I know what you’ve been doing.

Day in and day out you do, and work, and serve, while trying to love others as Christ has loved you (John 15:12).

And every morning you rise to share what you have (Hebrews 13:16), give what you own, and bless others without applause.

And each night you ask God to give you the courage to make tomorrow about others and not of yourself (Philippians 2:4).

It hasn’t been easy. The world begs you to conform to something wholly different. A cause where self-promotion – no matter how shocking, trivial or downright false it may be, is the stuff of value and worth.

Somedays you think maybe you’ve lost your mind. More often than not, this selfless road is long and lonely, and choosing to live beyond your selfie stick seems, well … incredibly ordinary.

Yet you stay the course because you know something the world doesn’t: You are a living sacrifice. A drink offering poured out for the service of others and the glory of your Savior.

You have chosen the way of sacrifice.

Let me tell you what God does with your sacrifice.

There’s a small, yet amazing, story found in Genesis 8. Noah, his family, and two-by-two of all creation have been living in an ark for more than a year. The moment has come when foot, and claw, and pad, will step off the pitch and planks of the ark onto solid ground.

The Bible says, “So Noah came out … then Noah built an altar to the LORD … and sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (Genesis 8:18, 20)

There’s no talk of making mud angels or rolling down hills. Nor does he pitch a tent, hunt for food, or unpack his boat.

No. He built an altar and gave thanks to God.

And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma of his sacrifice, he said in his heart:

Never again will I curse the ground because of humans … And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21, emphasis mine)

Never again.

He promised. Never again.

What “never agains” do you suppose God has done – or will do, because you sacrifice in his Name? Because you choose to put him first before fame, or thanks, or regard for yourself?

What “never agains” are possible because you choose to remain the unknown, unsung, and unrewarded hero of sacrifice?

Never again will this marriage …

This friendship …

This child …

This situation …

This fear …

This battle …

As sacrificers we understand our laying down, and giving up requires something of self – not a selfie, but of self.  Yes, at times, the cost seems too high and the honor too small, but oh what hope can we dare when God makes “never again’ promises!

This Memorial Day, Renae and I want to thank the servicemen and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the defense, freedom and preservation of our country. Your heroic sacrifice goes well beyond our simple gratitude and is worthy of the pleasing aroma that glorifies God. Thank you to all for what you have done, are doing, and will do for the cause of freedom.

One Reply

  1. Lori perez

    I have to say Raye I love reading all the devotions every Monday but I have to say that this,has to be one of your best. Amen sister and thank you for remembering our service men and women. God bless you.

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