Today’s devotional was written by my son, Clark Wrather, who is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice. “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. – Deuteronomy 16:13-17.

Worship equals sacrifice or giving in the Old Testament. Just take a look at Deuteronomy 16. Hebrew Worship in the Old Testament can be summed up in one word – sacrifice. The Hebrew people worshiped by sacrificing. This act of sacrifice was a holy offering to the Lord of the gift of an animal. They brought to the prescribed place the required offering or gift: an ox, a sheep, a goat, or a bird. It had to be a flawless gift.

Giving up one of these animals may not seem like a big deal to us, but to these people I assure you it was. Your average person in their society would only get to eat meat around three times a year at different religious festivals. Giving up these animals cost them something. The more costly the gift, in terms of the worshiper’s ability to provide, the more it expressed God’s supreme worth. David on one occasion refused to accept animals for sacrifice from one of his subjects without first paying for them. David said, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing (2 Samuel 24:24).”

Hebrew sacrifice provided an avenue of approach to God through offerings brought by the worshiper in recognition of God’s worth. These ancient Hebrews expressed their worship of the Lord God of Hosts through sacrifice.

Thousands of years later, we still enter into God’s presence through sacrifice. We receive the right to become His children only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. We grow closer to His will and way for our lives when we sacrifice our selfish desires and messed up priorities and ask God to please reign on the throne of our heart.

To become the person He wants you to be, you have to sacrifice your time to read His Word, spend adequate time in prayer and worship him with other believers in church. To be the person He created you to be, you have to sacrifice your time and resources to do works of service that build His kingdom.

God is approached through sacrifice. Scripture makes this clear and most of us have learned this truth in our own lives. When a person of group of His people want His attention and power displayed in a specific area, special sacrifices are often made for this purpose. King David and Josiah made special sacrifices to God. Moses led the people to make special sacrifices to God, usually when they needed His forgiveness. Some still do this today when they fast and pray. Others sacrificially give for a targeted purpose.

Will you approach God through sacrifice? A sacrifice is costly and it is an act of worship. I pray that you will join me in worshipping our God with a costly sacrifice.

(This devotional is part of the promotion of a special fund raising event at the church where my son is the pastor. They are nearing the amount needed to build a family life center.)

(A sacrifice is costly and it is an act of worship.)

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