“Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.”
Three descriptions of an offering that glorifies God is set forth in this verse:
“a sweet-smelling aroma,”
“an acceptable sacrifice,”
“well pleasing to God.”
Now we come to the second description—”an acceptable sacrifice.”
“an acceptable sacrifice”
This sacrifice was first acceptable to Paul, and then it was acceptable to God. When we give to God’s servants, it pleases God. If we find anything in the Bible that pleases God, we should take note of it. If we want to please God, we should give financially to God’s work. Children who have enough sense to please their parents undergo an easier life. It would not be so difficult to extract $10 from their parents. If we learned this lesson about God, we would find that He is favorably inclined toward us.
The word sacrifice means to slay. This is not the act of sacrifice but the thing slain. In the Old Testament, this word was used for animal sacrifices. Their gift was a sacrifice. (2 Cor. 8:1-5). They gave out of poverty. Here it is a money sacrifice that is acceptable to God.
This “acceptable sacrifice” is propitious (satisfying) to God. He regards our offering of money with favor.
When we give, we give not only to God’s servants but to God Himself.
Giving to people who minister is a sacrifice to God. Monetary sacrifice praises God. God puts a premium on giving that comes from love.
God deems money given to His servants as a sacrifice to Himself. It rejoices the heart of God. God gives us the responsibility to glorify Him with our resources. We glorify Him not only with our surplus but with every dime we own. The money He gives us is not ours, but His and ours. The service of giving to the cause of Christ not only encourages and advances the cause of Christ, but it is an act of worship. God takes pleasure in this.