Philippians 2:17 “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.”
My men’s bible study is currently working through the book of Philippians. It’s always a sobering reminder of how much depth exists in God’s Word, when scripture is dissected slowly and steadily it allows for the seeker to grow in the richness of its Truth.
Paul’s description of the drink offering refers to the Old Testament practice of pouring a drink offering in worship (Numbers 15:1–10; 28:1–8). After a priest would sacrifice a lamb, ram, or bull, he would pour wine beside the altar. This symbolized the dedication of a person in worship to God.
2 Timothy 4:6 “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.”
For Paul, he felt his life was being poured out as an act of worship on behalf of those he served. Even if his imprisonment ended in death, he could have joy regarding his life that had been poured out in service to God. At the end of his life, Paul would make a similar statement: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come”.
The drink offering and death, or end of service, are all closely associated.
Ezekiel 45:7 “It shall be the prince’s part to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons and on the sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel.”
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, fulfilled this offering once and for all upon the cross.
Paul describes Jesus Christ as one who was willing to be humble and in obedience to God the Father. For this, God will exalt Jesus’ name above all others. Someday, one way or another, all people will admit that Jesus Christ is Lord, and submit to Him.
If you identify yourself as a follower of Christ, you too are called to pour out your life as a drink offering to God. Our end of service to ourselves is the beginning of service in the Kingdom of God.
Joel 2:12-14 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?”
What was once a ritual sacrifice upon an altar is now understood to symbolize the blood Jesus spilled on the cross. The way Jesus perfectly illustrated the giving of His life for others was the foundation Paul used in giving His life for the salvation of the gentiles. The personal sacrifice required of God’s people doesn’t necessarily end in death, though there have been many people who have given their lives in service to others. Nearly all of the apostles died while serving the Lord, the ultimate demonstration of agape love through sacrifice.
Our sacrifice may or may not end in the giving of our lives, some may see this as some heroic gesture, one hope they’ll have the courage if presented with such a scenario. Heroism in the Kingdom of God usually begins before that final decision has to be reached, the love of God poured into a believers life is revealed far before the sacrifice is given.
Revelation of Love
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
If we truly love the Lord, we will truly love others….they go hand in hand. Regardless of peoples politics, living conditions, culture, or any other condition they find offensive, if we can’t see the individual the way Jesus sees them, we fail the test.
Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
In this day and age there have been a myriad of reasons for people to become separated. In what seems like tribal warfare, the worldwide pandemic has formed opinions on masks and vaccines that has separated people into imaginary camps—I can’t say I’ve ever witnessed more friendships separated for the most ridiculous reasons. The church must have the focus and character to rise above these mundane disputes and remember it’s calling.
Do you count yourself as a member of Christ’s church?
If so, you have an obligation to live life with a different perspective, a perspective that exemplifies Christ.
Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
If we are to pour out our lives for Christ, we must also pour it out into the lives of others.
This means rising above petty arguments and misperceptions and seeing others the way Jesus sees them.
The place to start is in repentance and it carries forth in obedience with love.
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
No matter how difficult life becomes, we don’t give up on one another. If someone doesn’t vote as we do, we don’t allow this to separate us as friends. If a brother struggles with sin, we don’t condemn him to Hell prematurely but instead look for ways to encourage and strengthen him.
You see, pouring out our lives as drink offerings is a process of setting aside our own interests for the interests of others. The goal is their salvation, and by investing our time in prayer, service, and loving support we help them in this journey.
The Lord knows what strength you have, He will bring others into your life to strengthen you as well. Your calling is just to do your part, let the Lord worry about all the other details.
An Offering Accepted
2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
When the priests offered the drink offering upon the altar, it became a pleasant aroma unto the Lord.
Our lives also become a beautiful fragrance unto the Lord and He uses it to reveal His glory to the world.
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?”
What God deems good, the world regards as detestable.
Remember, as you pour out your life you will face persecution but as Jesus reminded us, be of good cheer, He has overcome the world.
The offering you give will be used by God, you will be blessed for it, and it is in these moments you will truly feel fulfilled.
I hope you discover the joy of sacrifice, in God’s Kingdom it is a position of great honor.