Romans 12:1




It's important to offer sacrifices to God.

But we need to offer the right kind or sacrifices.



And we need to offer them in the right way.

Notice, our text.



“I beseech you therefore, bretheren, by the mercies of God, that ye present  

your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is you         

reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).

Not all sacrifices are acceptable to God.



Cain's sacrifice is an example.

He offered the fruit of the ground.



But the fruit of the ground wasn't acceptable to God.

Today, I want to discuss three things about sacrificing to God.



1st---Our sacrifices should be the best we have.

God gave the best He had when He gave Jesus.     



And we should give the best we have when we offer sacrifices to God.

When the Jews planted grain, the first grain they gathered belonged to God.  



When they set out fruit trees, the first fruit they gathered belonged to God.

Think about that!

They set out fruit trees;

Waited three years for them to bear fruit;



And gave the first crop to God.

They bought lambs;



Waited several months for them to give birth;

And gave the first lamb to God.



Imagine going to the Temple every year to offer a sacrifice,

And having to offer the best animal we have.



That's what the Sacrificial Law required.

It was God's way of teaching us to offer our very best.



Offering our very best is true worship.

It's a way of saying, "God is special."



“God comes first."

“God is more important than anything I have."



The Christmas story teaches this.

The Wise Men traveled a great distance to offer valuable gifts of gold,

frankincense and myrrh;



Not ordinary gifts;

Very costly gifts;



“Hard-to-come-by" gifts.

Gold was even more expensive 2000 years ago than it is today.

It was harder to find;

Harder to mine;



Harder to transport;

Harder to smelt.



It was the choice of the very wealthy;

A gift for kings and queens.



Frankincense was equally expensive.

It was the sacrifice of the rich.



The poor couldn't afford it.

Myrrh was not as scarce as gold and frankincense.



But it was still very expensive.

Myrrh is what Moses used to anoint Aaron and his sons to be the priests of  




These gifts signified the very best of their day.

They were not given lightly;



Not given to just anybody.

They were given to royalty;



People of status.

And they teach that God desires our very best.



2nd---Our sacrifices should cost us something.

That's the great thing about the widow's might.

Her gift cost her everything she had.

She wasn't trying to serve God on the cheap.



She wasn't claiming a relationship with God that she wouldn't back up with   

her finances.

King David said, "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that         

cost me nothing" (II Sam. 24:24).



A costly gift is the best gift because a costly gift is a real sacrifice.

Most of us probably think we give generously at Church.



I don't want a show of hands.

But I wonder how many tithe.



I’ve read that less than ten percent of the Church gives ten percent of their    


A tithe is a good gift.



But let's not forget that tithing was just a small part of the sacrifice the Jews   


It was their starting point;



Not their whole sacrifice.

Farmers sold their crop.



They tithed their income.

But they didn't harvest all of their crop.



They left the corners of the fields for the poor to glean.

Farmers sold their grapes.


They tithed their income.

But they didn't pick all of their grapes.



They left grapes for the poor to glean.

Farmers sold their flock.



They tithed their income.

But they didn’t sell all their animals.



They sacrificed the firstborn.

Even though they tithed, they let the land lie fallow every seventh year.



They released their slaves.

And forgive all their debts every fiftieth years.



Some scholars estimate that tithing, giving the first-born of the flock, letting   

the land lie fallow, etc. cost the Jews as much as fifty percent of their  

total income.

That kind of giving was a test of faith.



But let's notice something.

The heathen nations around Israel weren’t doing that.



They were keeping all of their money;

Gathering all of their crop;



Keeping their best animals, etc.

But who was prospering?




Not the heathen who kept all they had.

It was the Jews who were giving large  amounts to God.



Their crops were flourishing.

Their vines were flourishing.



Their herds were increasing.

Did you ever wonder why the early Christians sold everything they had;



Why they gave everything they had to the Church?

They knew that they couldn't out give God.



They knew that God had said that their giving would come back pressed      

down, shaken together and running over.

When our sacrifices cost us something, God gives something back.



We shouldn't sacrifice in order to receive from God.

But those who give to God receive from God.



The Bible says, “the person who gives gains even more.”

“But the person who withholds unduly, will come to poverty” (Prov. 11:24).



Martin Luther said, "I have held many things in my hands, and have lost them         


"But whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."



Please listen.

Whether we believe this or not, the Bible teaches that God can influence the  

flow of money.



He can make our land productive.

He can make our business succeed.



And we need to pay attention when He says, "None shall appear before me   

empty" (Ex. .34:20).

Don’t go to God asking for things with empty hands.



We can’t buy an answer to prayer.

But God knows it, if our heart is not right.



The Bible says, “Every man shall give as he is able” (Deut. 16:16).

It says, Your sacrifice "shall be perfect to be accepted;”



“There shall be no blemish therein” (Lev. 22:21-25).

Giving should cost us something.



3rd ---0ur sacrifices can be spiritual.

We can offer a sacrifice from our lips;



A sacrifice of prayer, praise and song;

A sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart.



Try to grasp this concept.

We don't come to Church to slaughter animals.



But we do come to Church to offer sacrifices;

To offer our hearts, our thoughts, our voices, our hands and our lives to God.



We owe our very existence to God.

Worship is one of the reasons He created us.

Worship (or our lack of it) expresses our attitude toward God.

This Church is not a place to play games;



Not a place for meaningless prayers, skimpy offerings, and sugar-coated      


This Church is a place of sacrifice;



A place to offer the best we have;

A place to offer things that cost us something;



A place to offer spiritual sacrifices that cost us something.

Do you know why most people don't get more excited at Church?



Some don’t get excited about anything.

It’s their very nature not to get excited.



But some don't want to pay the cost of worship.

Some are afraid they will be criticized:



Afraid they will get tagged as a fanatic;

Afraid they will be asked to give more.



So they do little more than sit there.

Please allow me to be ridiculous for a minute.



I’m probably ridiculous more than I realize.

But this time, I’m being ridiculous on purpose.



I don't want to offend anyone.

But I want to make a point.

Instead of coming to Church, why not just bring a picture of yourself.

And set it over there on one of the pews?



You could set your picture in your favorite spot.

Your picture could face the song leader.



It could face the preacher.

It could just sit there.



That wouldn't be worship would it?

That wouldn’t accomplish anything.



This is the point.

If we don't engage ourselves in acts of sacrifice and worship when we come




We won't accomplish anymore than our picture would.

We need to carry out our true purpose for being here.



God told the Jews to never let the fire go out on the altar of sacrifice.

What did that mean?



God was saying I want you to always be ready to offer a burnt offering.

I want you to be ready 24-7 (24 hours/day, 7 days/week).



I want you to be so anxious to offer a sacrifice that you won’t even have to  

wait to build a fire.

This is what it means for the Church.




God doesn't want us to ever let the fire of sacrifice go out in the Church.

He wants us to be anxious to offer sacrifices;



Anxious to pray;

Anxious to teach;



Anxious to give.

If I understand the nature of God, we will have a better life;



A better relationship with Him;

And better rewards in heaven,



If we put Him first, deny ourselves, and worship Him.

“I beseech you therefore bretheren, by the mercies of God, that ye present   

your bodies a living sacrifice,”



“Holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”