But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
Around the world there are millions of people who give money or other types of donations to people who are in need. Many of these people often give out of their excess or things no longer wanted. As they give, they often make it look like they are sacrificing something for someone else.
While there is nothing wrong with giving out of excess, it cannot be portrayed as a sacrifice. There really is no cost to giving it.
David had sinned against God and realized it. He had to make a burnt offering sacrifice to God. Araunah was going to provide the oxen and the wood for the sacrifice at no cost to David. David refused it, because he did not want to offering a burnt offering that did not cost him. He knew that he had done God wrong and had to pay for it.
Sacrificing is more than just giving something up or away. It is giving up or giving something away that will cost to be given up. It may hurt some to give it up.
There are believers who give up things for God, but only those things that they really do not want. There is no real cost in giving it up.
The purpose of a sacrifice is to give up self to let God have control. It is to humble oneself before God. It is to show God that one is not worthy of anything.
God sees the heart of people when they give. He knows when they are giving a sacrifice for show, or when they are giving it from the heart.
Jesus gave the greatest sacrifice of all–His life. It cost Him everything, so that you and I may have eternal life and forgiveness of our sins. He demonstrated what it means to sacrifice something.
Although the sacrificial system is no longer used or needed, you can still sacrifice to God and for God. As with Jesus, the greatest sacrifice you can give is your life. Allow God to have complete control over your life.
Lay your life and sins on the altar for Jesus to remove them and replace everything with His life. It will be worth it all in the end.
I pray today that you will know what Jesus did for you; that you will know the value of what God has given you; that you will give God your whole life; and that you will allow God to live in you.