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Sacrifices with Shouts of Joy

“One thing have I asked of the LORD,

that I will seek after:

that I may dwell in the house of the LORD

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD

and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter

in the day of trouble;

he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;

he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up

above my enemies all around me,

and I will offer in his tent

sacrifices with shouts of joy;

I will sing and make melody to the LORD.” Psalm 27:4-6

..And I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy..”

I pondered this scripture on Sunday morning and prayed it back to the Lord, asking Him that I may know what it looks like to offer Him sacrifices with shouts of joy, that I may experience this for myself.

What a dumb and wonderful thing to do.

As I prayed with my brothers and sisters that morning and as I wondered over this verse, I was deeply moved as the Holy Spirit reminded me that this is what Jesus did.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross..” Hebrews 12:2

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed...”

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand..” (Isaiah 53: 5, 10)

Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

As Jesus endured the cross, the joy set before Him was you and I. As His blood flowed, the joy set before Him was that you and I would be washed by His blood. As Jesus cried out to the Father, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”, His perfect sacrifice upon the cross as the Lamb of God ensured that we would forever be kept by our Father in heaven.

Jesus' joy and His delight was to fulfill the will of the Father. His joy and His delight was the cross.

And so if we ever are to want to know what it looks like to offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, we should look to the cross.

We should remember Jesus, our High Priest, offering up Himself: the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

We should gaze upon the blood dripping from His crown of thorns. We should not look away from His back that was ripped to shreds. We should look to the nails in His hands and in His feet. We should weep as blood and water pours from His pierced side.

We should rejoice. And as we cast our minds to Calvary, we should then do as the Lord has said: We should pick up our crosses and die daily.

In this daily dying, we are conformed into the image of Christ.

As we offer up ourselves, dying so that we may truly live, we look like Jesus. We become more and more like Him. We become living sacrifices.

It is difficult to sacrifice; to be a sacrifice, with joy. It requires dying. And dying to our flesh, our self, is painful.

But do not be afraid, dear one. Death has lost its sting, after all. We may be tempted to flee from this dying, this sacrificing, but do not dare move from the foot of the tree. Do not take your gaze from your precious Jesus. He has not once taken His gaze from you.

As Jesus' work on the cross made it so that we could dwell with the Lord, so there is a dwelling and a sweet, sweet presence of the Lord as we carry our own crosses upon our backs.

We walk with rugged crosses scraping our backs and those crosses become altars where a pleasing aroma arises to the Lord.

Where you see pain, there are actually pleasures forevermore. Where you see abasement, there is actually an eternal weight of glory being produced. Where you see death, there is a fullness of life that you cannot fathom.

So yes- offer Him sacrifices with shouts of joy! Jesus has already done it.

What an honor to be invited to follow Jesus and to walk as He did. What a privilege it is to know nothing but Christ and Christ crucified.

What a joy it is to share in the sufferings of Christ!

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