Seven Sacrifices to Joy

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartIt’s great to be sipping coffee, taking a break and sharing from my heart to yours. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I have experienced a sort of clog in my pipe of joy, and so I’m so encouraged by all these things we are discovering to actually unclog that pipe and free up that joy. The good news is, one day, some day, our joy will be overflowing; until then, these things we learn will add knots in our Strand of Faith and carry us through. Grab your coffee, and your red Strand of Faith and let’s go finish up the clarifications on the word sacrifice … a word that I’m discovering has everything to do with joy!

There are just a couple more very important clarifications for the last translation we talked about and then we can move on to the New Testament translation for sacrifice.

The KJV translates this word “minchah” as a “meat offering” and “meat” translates to a solid food/grain offering, in contrast to liquid. Oh but that makes me think of 1st Corinthians 3:2 where Paul is talking about giving the new believers milk to drink instead of solid food because they just couldn’t digest it. To digest spiritual meat means we’d have to live what we learn! In today’s world, that is a sacrifice!

See, the more difficult a challenge is, the bigger the reward will be and the more we apply the meat of the Word, the easier it will be to get through it.

Okay, let’s keep going so we can wrap up the Old Testament translations for sacrifice. These meat sacrifices were always to be made without leaven! Oh, dear, something tells me this is another knot stop!

Leaven is analogous to self-righteousness, legalism … sin! Remember, just as leaven puffs up bread, so does these forms of pride puff us up and cause us to miss the mark and get off track. Oh, I learn over and over that I can accomplish nothing good without Him; living a life of works versus faith keeps that leaven in me and that isn’t the type of sacrifice He requires! He requires a pure heart, a pure sacrifice, and this is often the translation for minchah: it includes purity of heart. That was so knot-worthy! Okay, let’s keep moving!

This type of sacrifice was applied especially in the Festival of Weeks, Pentecost and to the daily “continual offering.” Coffee Hour friend, we won’t be making a knot stop here to discuss the various festivals which really bring the sacrifice to life, but oh, what a beautiful study that would be.

But let’s park for a moment in Malachi, a prophet who provides interesting symbolism, analogizing this type of sacrifice to the restoration of the Jews while including the Gentiles in his prophesying about the gift of grace that purifies our sacrifice. So in other words, it wasn’t the blood of an animal that purified the sacrifice, rather the blood that would be shed and has since been shed to pay the price when we miss the bulls-eye! And just for goose-bumps sake, let me share with you my version of the introduction the Bible gives to the Book of Malachi:

Imagine with me a vase suddenly shattering as it is barely brushed by an unknowing elbow. Across the room, a toy breaks because young fingers have just pushed it beyond its limit. In the other room, the sound of ripping fabric by one filled with anger can be heard above the background noise provided by the television … spills and rips take time and/or money to clean up, repair and replace but oftentimes, a shattered relationship ripped with anger caused by unfaithfulness, untruths, hateful words tear the delicate bonds and inflict emotional wounds not easily healed. Even more tragic are the broken relationships with God.

However, God loves perfectly and completely and His love is a love of action that gives, guides and guards. He is altogether faithful, holding fast to every promise ever given to His chosen people, but consistently, just as the Israelites, His chosen people spurned and mocked their loving God, breaking the covenant, so do we in our present, do the same things as we follow other gods and continue to chase after the things that fulfill our own desires, living in the moment, not for eternity. This creates a truly shattered relationship.

But … yes, there’s a “but” … the breach is not irreparable; all hope is not lost. God can and will heal, mend and reweave the fabric of our lives … with grace. This is the message of Malachi who paints a stunning picture of the Israelites unfaithfulness – and ours — while including the beauty of forgiveness for all of us. Read this verse aloud but bring with you all that we’ve discovered about sacrifice: “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering – (there it is); for My name shall be great among the nations” …

The Book of Malachi sort of finishes the bridge between the Old Testament and the New. As we journey through this journey of the Seven Sacrifices to Joy, I pray that we will openly and honestly evaluate the depth of our commitment to our loving God through the purity, sincerity and motivation of our sacrifices.

Join me tomorrow for a couple of contexts of sacrifice from the New Testament …

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One Response to “Seven Sacrifices to Joy”

  1. Jenn says:

    I am so grateful for the ‘re-weaving’ of my life into something more beautiful! Sometimes I feel impatient to see the finished product..in heaven!