What’s your favorite scent? Perhaps it’s the smell of freshly cut roses, or of cookies baking in an oven. Some of you love the aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. For me, nothing compares to the sweet aroma of an apple pie being baked in an oven!
Our favorite smells have been scientifically proven to make us feel carefree and happy. That clearly is a gift from God as He too has a favorite scent that brings Him great joy. God’s favorite aroma is a sacrifice willingly offered up by those who know Him. The sacrificial system of the Old Testament was instituted by God, and the Jews were given very detailed instructions of how to conduct these sacrifices, sometimes referred to as offerings. The sacrifices and offerings were necessary in keeping a right relationship with the God of Israel, and were a vital part of worship. Numerous times throughout the book of Leviticus these sacrifices were referred to as a “sweet aroma to God.” They were also a foreshadow of something far greater, that being the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. That “ultimate sacrifice” nullified the need for any further blood sacrifices. Some would even say that sacrifices are no longer needed. Oh contrar! Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
The need to sacrificially give to God is as important as it ever was and should be a vital part of our worship to God. One of the greatest examples of sacrifice is found in 2 Samuel 24. King David sinned by allowing Joab to number the people. After God’s punishment was carried out, David was told to offer a sacrifice to God. He immediately offered to buy some land on Mt. Moriah to build an altar to implement a sacrifice. Araunah, the owner of the land, offered to give it to David, along with other items needed for the sacrifice. David would not allow it, saying to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver” (2 Samuel 24:24). David clearly understood that giving sacrificially was pleasing to God. David’s actions in this passage are a clear indication of why he was referred as “a man after God’s own heart”. Sacrificing something to God that you cannot afford is still a sweet aroma to Him! What are you sacrificing to God, what’s convenient, or what’s costly?
“Nothing of spiritual significance comes without sacrifice. Your spirituality will always be measured by the size of your sacrifice.” What can you sacrificially give to God today? Your time? Your talent? Your treasure?