Visiting India in 2009, I was amazed at all of the shrines sprinkled throughout the cities and countryside.
We were told that any place not already occupied could be used as a place to build a shrine.
Once the shrine was erected, people in the area began bringing objects to lay at the feet of whichever god the shrine represented.
If you know much about the Hindu religion, it worships hundreds of different gods.
As a Christian who believes in one Almighty God, one Savior, and one Holy Spirit, I find the thought of hundreds of gods both sad and overwhelming.
Constantly trying to find favor in the eyes of a monkey god while bringing gifts to the god of Ganesh (an elephant god) seems exhausting.
Poverty would be a great excuse to not even try to keep these gods happy if I were a native of India and follower of their religion, yet the people of India, no matter how poor, often give up everything to bring some type of offering to whichever gods they can……..daily.
As we visited a temple one evening, I was amazed at the large number of people who were gathered to participate in the evening rituals.
Hindu religion realizes that there is more to this life than just us even though they don’t understand what it is.
And they believe that this “more-to-life reason” is worth worshiping.
We have God.
We have a Savior.
How much deeper should our worship be?
How much more costly should our sacrifices be?
David realized the depth to which our sacrifices should take us when he was trying to buy a place on which to build an altar to the Lord.
When Araunah offered to give David his threshing floor as a place to build an altar, David replied,
“No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”
The more read the Bible the more I realize that sacrifice and offerings without cost are meaningless.
Jesus is a perfect example of the definition of “sacrifice.”
He gave up everything so that we could be saved.
What can we lay at His feet that even begins to show our gratitude.
Paul tells us in Romans,
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–
this is your spiritual act of worship.
In Philippians, he says,
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whose sake I have lost all things.
I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-
the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
As I was reading David’s words this morning about not wanting to bring an offering to God that cost him nothing, I was convicted.
What do my offerings cost me?
What sacrifices do I bring to God daily?
I want to be a living sacrifice.
This means that I die to my self and everything I say and do, no matter how tiring, how unappreciated, how insignificant in man’s eyes, is done for God and to God’s glory.
Today, as you do the things you are called to do in life,
remember that God longs for you to do EVERYTHING “as unto” Him.
Sometimes it may feel as if the cost is too great, but in the end I believe we will discover that in our sacrificial living we are actually gaining so much more than we could ever give.