Summary: In our worship, we offer sacrifices of praise and become living sacrifices to God.
1. Cost of Freedom
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire-building by George W. Bush.
He answered by saying that..."Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
It became very quiet in the room.
2. We understand the sacrificial cost of freedom for America and many places in the world
3. Our worship calls us to sacrificially give to God as well -- Hebrews 13.10-16
a. This is more than singing a few songs
b. This is offering to God something that is costly to us
I. A Word on Sacrifices in Scripture
A. The Picture of Animal Sacrifices -- Ancients/Moses/until destruction of temple
1. They used the right (clean) animals
2. They offered in the right place -- "where I cause my name to be remembered" -- Exodus 20.24
3. They were made by the right people -- priests
4. They were done at the right time -- daily; annually; specials -- trespass; thanksgiving, birth of children;
B. The Place of Jesus' Sacrifice -- once for all (Hebrews 9.23-28) -- unlike HP, Jesus sat down
1. The Red Spot
Napoleon Bonaparte, the story goes once gathered his military staff around a map of the world and pointed to a redheaded pin marking the location of Great Britain. He then exclaimed dramatically, "Were it not for that red spot, I would have conquered the world."
One would imagine Satan points to Calvary and cries out, "Were it not for that red spot, I would have conquered all mankind."
May we never forget that without the sacrifice of Jesus we would be lost, still in our sins, unforgiven.
2. His sacrifices in Life and in death (Philippians 2.7-8 -- emptied and obedient)
II. A Word on Sacrifices of the Saints
A. Worship Involves Praise -- Publicly and/or Privately -- UP to God
1. Acknowledge God with thanksgiving -- humility
2. Acknowledge God with Praise -- Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Psalm 22.3
1. Do Good and Share -- James 1.27
2. Second Command -- Leviticus 19.18
Utah Jazz Center, Greg Ostertag made the play of his life. The seven-foot tall basketball player's sister, Amy, was suffering from kidney failure and needed an organ transplant. Due to their close genetic similarity, Greg was an ideal candidate for being an organ donor. Ostertag put his athletic career on the line for his younger sister. "It's a risk I am willing to take," confided Ostertag, "I love playing basketball, don't get me wrong, but I'm more concerned with giving my sister another 50 years of life. I'm just being a brother." (Chicago Sun-Times)
C. Worship Involves a Presentation of Self -- Inwardly and Outwardly to God -- Romans 12.1-2
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship [OR reasonable, rational service]. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1. "Present" = as a priest offering an animal sacrifice
2. Bodies --
a. As temples of God -- 1 Corinthians 6.19-20
b. As Tools of God -- Romans 6.13
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
3. Involves Heart; Soul; Might (Deuteronomy 6.4ff -- the first command)
a. Anointed Right Ear -- Hear God's word
b. Anointed Right Thumb -- do God's work
c. Anointed Right Big Toe -- Walk in God's way
1. Two Living Sacrifices in Scripture
b. Jesus -- DBR -- no substitute for him, he was OUR substitute
2. What is Our Sacrifice of Praise to God?
a. More than words we sing or say in this place
(BTW, reciting scripture or liturgy can be rote or riveting depending on our attitude -- "kavanah")