A Sacrifice for God
What would we sing if there were no songwriters? Songs don't just happen, after all. Fortunately, we have been blessed to have talented, spiritually-minded people to compose their righteous thoughts and share them for our books (or screens) so that we might unite our voices in praise.
It is an amazing experience to hear thousands of dedicated Christians lift their voices in praise to God. However, I imagine it is even more special for those rare few songwriters who get to hear their songs take flight in such an assembly. This past week, the author of “Servant's Song" witnessed his poetic prayer displayed on a large screen and then harmoniously and zealously lifted up to God. What a joy it must be for that author to witness his influence and to know his part in exalting the God who is above all.
I was thinking about this not so long ago when Matthew Bassford died. If you don't know, he is the man who penned the lyrics for one of my favorite songs, “Exalted.” “Seen with blinded eyes. Heard with heedless ears. Met with wicked hearts. Son of God! Worshiped with contempt. Crowned with blood and thorns. Throned upon a cross. Exalted.” The words make me shiver.
Matthew was 45 years old when he died after a debilitating disease took its final toll. He knew his death was coming. So did all those who knew him. The way he faced his death was an encouragement to thousands of people, maybe more. He was a man of faith and love for God who was ready, if not eager, to take his last breath and go to be in the presence of God.
Only in my imagination can I see what happened when Matthew first laid eyes on the throne of God. It is a glorious scene. Too wondrous for words. Matthew bows down before the Almighty Creator, but he has not come empty-handed. He has a sacrifice in his hands—a scroll, engraved with the words of Exalted. As he unrolls the scroll, the voices of thousands upon thousands of singing saints fill the throne room. Our voices. His words. His sacrifice to God. How wonderful that Matthew did not approach God empty-handed.
It's here I ponder. What sacrifice will we bring to God when we inevitably bow at his throne? We aren't all songwriters, like Matthew. But we all have something we can offer. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1). What deeds in your life will you lay before God? Will it be years of being a godly spouse, dedicating your family to God's patterns? Will it be souls whom you have brought to the Lord to be taught by Him? Will it be light that shone in a world of darkness? Will it be a courageous and public stand for truth in the face of opposition? Will it be years and years of time sacrificed to the study of God's word—to knowing all that you could about God? Will it be countless acts of selflessly helping the helpless?
Right now, in the time we have left before our last breath, we are preparing our sacrifice for God—something that will show how we have honored Him. Unless, of course, we have been too busy living life for our own pleasures, following our own will. In which case, we will have nothing worthy to lay before God. We will stand in His presence empty-handed. Don't do that.
What is it in your life that you can unashamedly—even eagerly—offer to God as your sacrifice?