And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away. Nehemiah 12:43
This is a bit of an obscure verse in the back pages of Nehemiah. But it gives us reason to pause. Recall that when a burnt offering sacrifice was given, it was lost to the giver. That is, it was handed over to the Lord and literally completely burnt up in smoke. From the instructions given to Moses, we learn that a burnt offering sacrifice must be given to the Lord voluntarily and out of gratitude (1).
The people under Nehemiah were given the gift of security from the Lord. They gave of their resources to make God renown in all the earth. Their sacrifice was small compared to their great joy.
When you give to the Lord, how great is your sacrifice of treasure, time and talent? Do you give with all your strength? We are called to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice (2). This is a call to give the best of what we have to offer to the Lord. This sacrifice to the Lord should be out of great thanksgiving. It is giving – and losing – our time for Him. It is voluntarily giving away our skills and loosely holding our earthly wealth to make a kingdom difference. There will be great joy when at the end of your days you see what treasures you have laid up in Heaven to lay at the feet of Jesus. May your joy be great like it was for the people under Nehemiah.
It will be a thrill on this side of glory to see how the Lord can use you to make a difference among the nations. How? Engage in your next steps at missionnext.org – move at your own pace. Now is a good time to start.
(1) Leviticus 1; (2) Romans 12:1