SACRIFICES have long been an important part of true worship. The Israelites offered animal sacrifices, and Christians have always been well-known for their “sacrifice of praise.” Yet, there are other sacrifices with which God is well-pleased. (Heb. 13:15, 16) These sacrifices bring both joy and blessings, as the following examples show.
Hannah, a faithful servant of old, dearly wanted a son but had been unable to bear children. In prayer, she vowed to Jehovah that if she would bear a son, she would “give him to Jehovah all the days of his life.” (1 Sam. 1:10, 11) In time, Hannah did become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son named Samuel. After Samuel was weaned, Hannah took him to the tabernacle, just as she had vowed. Jehovah blessed Hannah for her self-sacrificing spirit. She was privileged to have five more children, and Samuel became a prophet and a Bible writer.—1 Sam. 2:21.
Like Hannah and Samuel, Christians today have the privilege of using their lives in dedicated service to their Creator. Jesus promised that any sacrifices we make to worship Jehovah will be richly rewarded.—Mark 10:28-30.
In the first century, a Christian woman named Dorcas was well-known for her “good deeds and gifts of mercy”—sacrifices she made to help others. Sadly, however, “she fell sick and died,” bringing grief to the congregation. When the disciples heard that Peter was in the area, they urged him to come at once. Imagine their joy when Peter came and raised Dorcas from the dead—the first recorded resurrection by an apostle! (Acts 9:36-41) God had not forgotten the sacrifices of Dorcas. (Heb. 6:10) Her record of generosity has been preserved in God’s Word as a fine example for us to imitate.
The apostle Paul likewise set an excellent example of one who gave generously of his time and attention. Writing to his Christian brothers in Corinth, Paul said: “For my part, I will most gladly spend and be completely spent for you.” (2 Cor. 12:15) Paul learned through experience that sacrificing oneself in behalf of others brings not only personal satisfaction but also—and more important—Jehovah’s blessing and approval.—Acts 20:24, 35.
Clearly, Jehovah is pleased when we use our time and energy to promote Kingdom interests and assist fellow believers. But are there other ways in which we can support the Kingdom-preaching work? Yes! In addition to our labors of love, we can honor God by way of our voluntary contributions. They are used to further the worldwide preaching work, which includes supporting missionaries and other special full-time servants. In addition, the preparation and translation of literature and videos, the assistance with disaster relief efforts, and the construction of new Kingdom Halls are all cared for by our voluntary contributions. We can be assured that “the generous person will be blessed.” Moreover, when we give our valuable things to Jehovah, we honor him.—Prov. 3:9; 22:9.