Savor the sweet sacrifice of Christ, but also the sacrifice he calls us to. You may remember that in Romans 12:1-2 Paul calls us to be a living sacrifice for Christ. To conclude the section, Paul shows us what this looks like in verse 17:
“But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.” (Philippians 2:17, NIV).
Paul uses several vivid images right here.
1) Poured Out: This image shows us the suffering of the ultimate sacrifice. Paul is saying that he wants to pour out his life for the ministry like Jesus poured out his life for his people. This phrase brings back the image of verse 7, it bring us back to the hymn in verses 5-11. Because of our sin, Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life and died for us, Jesus emptied himself for the mission. Church, do you recognize that? Do you praise God for that? Has it changed your life?
2) Drinking Offering: This is a powerful image. Paul is evoking an Old Testament scene. It is the image of an ancient sanctuary where, morning and evening people would bring burnt offerings to the altar of God. They would be accompanied by these “drink offerings.” Here is what would happen, before the fire was lit, a priest poured wine over the animal sacrifice to enhance the “pleasing aroma to the Lord” (Num. 28:7-8).
Did you hear that? What Paul is saying is this, Jesus poured out his life for us, so we need to pour out our lives for him. And the more we pour out our lives in sacrificial service to God and the Gospel the sweeter it will smell! Does you sacrifice smell sweet? Can you savor it? In other words, would people want to keep smelling it like a beautiful bouquet of flowers? Is giving your life to Jesus something you savor everyday? Here is the biggest question, where is God calling you to pour out your life? Is there any area of your life that God has been calling you to give, but you are grumbling, you are arguing with him? Don’t resist him. Savor the sacrifice to the Glory of God.
Sacrifice is hard, but it is worth it. It is how God shapes us into a beautiful glass. It is how we walk through the fire. While this applies to everyone, I’ll speak to the moms for just a moment. There is something I have learned, we can complain about the challenges facing us, or we can recognize that God is doing something in us.
God calls us to work out our salvation, without grumbling or arguing. He wants us to find radical contentment in him. He wants us to experience Joy as we savor his sacrifice and the sacrifice he calls us to. He wants us to be like Jesus and trust the power of Jesus in our whole life. How do we do this?
Let me give you an image. God shapes us like a glass. It is transparent and sturdy. It can be filled. Then he fills us with His Spirit. The Holy Spirit fills us with joy and his fruit. Then he calls us to pour ourselves out through sacrifice in faith, so that the aroma of our sacrifice will be so sweet the world will see it.
What a powerful image. When that happens, what will we experience? Joy. Paul say he wants to “Rejoice with all of you”. Rejoice is commanded throughout the letter to the Philippians. Again, Paul calls us to choose joy in all circumstances. Rejoice is a command! Choose Joy! Don’t grumble. Don’t Argue. Choose Joy. Rejoice in your sufferings. Rejoice when life does not go your way. Rejoice when parenting is hard. Rejoice when life is good! Rejoice!
Can I tell you three powerful words that can change your life? I Choose Joy! Don’t settle for less.