“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
(Please read 1 Peter 2:4-5)
Spiritual sacrifices? You don’t hear that expression very often. What can it mean? First it means that Christians must offer sacrifices to God. Not the old sacrifices of animals and other physical things, but sacrifices of a different nature. Let’s look at some of them.
First there is our faith. Paul called it a sacrificial offering in Philippians 2:17. We can readily see how this is a continual offering, ending only when faith becomes sight. Our love for God and our neighbors is another continual sacrifice, which Jesus himself agreed is greater than all burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mark 12:32-34).
Confessing Christ is a sacrifice, as are songs, prayers and other expressions of praise, according to Hebrews 13:15. Prayers are also called “golden bowls full of incense” (Revelation 5:8).
We may think of this next one as a physical sacrifice, but Paul called it more than that. He referred to a contribution brought to him as “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18, NIV). Then when we contribute to the Lord’s work, we are offering a spiritual sacrifice to him.
In view of these sacrifices (and others that could be cited) it seems obvious that our very lives of faith, love and service are sacrifices, what Paul called “living sacrifices” in Romans 12:1.
Our text makes it clear that these spiritual sacrifices are acceptable only when offered through Jesus Christ. Which is certainly no less than our reasonable service, since he offered himself so freely for us. The overwhelming magnificence of his gift should bring forth the very best we have to give him.