Summary: It is “through Jesus” that your sacrifices can be acceptable. Anything short of that is totally unacceptable. The only person God told that he is pleased with was Jesus. When a man does not listen to Jesus, such a man cannot please God.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of Praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased. (NIV)
Quite a lot to identify in this scripture.
1. The first thing to note is that before ANYTHING can be done, it must be “THROUGH JESUS”.
It is “through Jesus” that your sacrifices can be acceptable. Anything short of that is totally unacceptable. It is through Jesus that our lives can be pleasing and acceptable to God. No matter how much of a moralist you think you are, without Christ in you, everything you do is displeasing God. No man cometh unto the Father except through Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the door to eternal life.
“As many that receive him, confess him and believe in him, to them… God has given the power to become His Son.”
The only person God told that he is pleased with was Jesus. It was recorded twice in the scriptures that God said to him, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” – after the baptism by John. The second time was the place of transfiguration where God spoke and said again, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased…” and the voice did not stop there, it added, “… hear him, listen to him” – Matthew 17:1-9.
When a man does not listen to Jesus, such a man cannot please God. Listening to Jesus qualifies you to pleasing God. What is Jesus saying to you that you are refusing to heed to? What instructions are you disobeying?
It is better and safer to obey Jesus and please God and receive the benefits than to disobey Him. It is a well quoted scripture that, “To obey is better than sacrifice…” Which sacrifice are you offering when disobedience to simple instructions is present in your life?
Your obedience to simple instructions defines who you are – your character, your attitude and your personality.
Your life is your sacrifice to God. When God was to accept the first-ever sacrifice given to Him, the condition was “doing the right thing”. God told Cain, in Genesis 4:6, ‘Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door… - (NIV)”
Before that verse, it was said that, “and the Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering, he did not look with favour…”
The first thing is “YOU”, before your offering or sacrifice. Who are You? Your character shapes whom you are. Your attitude shows whom you truly are.
Then doing what is right is achieved by obeying simple instructions. But come to think of this, if you do not know the instructions, how will you obey them? And remember, “Ignorance is no excuse” as it is popularly said.
The scriptures say “My people (God’s own people) are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Information, instructions, commandments).” God’s word is the Bible, which is the written instruction for our daily living.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Pastor Peter Amenkhienan, the Assistant General Overseer on Youth Affairs in RCCG said in his book, “God’s word is that instruction you need for the construction of your destiny. And once you have that instruction, every obstruction on your way will give way”.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God…” Jesus is that word and He represents instructions for you and I. If you do not have the Word, you do not have Jesus in your life, you do not study the scriptures, how will you know what he is telling you about the blueprint of how to give that sacrifice to Him? Everything has instructions. Everything comes with an instructional material just like any manufactured product. Just like you do not take a drug without following the prescription, you should not offer any sacrifice without going through the Lord Jesus. The drug that was supposed to heal you and bring life back to your health if the prescription is duly followed can likewise hurt or kill you if the prescription is not properly followed. That is why everything MUST BE DONE “THROUGH JESUS”.
2. Secondly, after getting access through Jesus, what should you do? “A CONTINUAL OFFER TO GOD”.