Sacrifice.

It’s got to cost you something. Giving something up that doesn’t hurt or bother me can not be classified as “sacrifice.” We know the example of the sacrifice in the temple. The animal was a clear representation of the sinner sacrificing – it cost them their possession and they killed the animal themselves and watched it die. When Jesus sacrificed himself on our behalf, it cost him his life. The only perfect man, who rightfully could have remained alive and enjoyed life with his Father and God, instead gave it up and laid cold in a grave for three days. For the followers of Christ in Acts, their time, their families, possessions, professions, and all the rest took a hit because of their desire to preach the gospel and live for Jesus. Many times, it was their very life that was given up because of their devotion to the message.

Committing our lives to Christ is a sacrifice. We cannot continue living the same life we lived before we went to the Cross and think we’re now carrying our own. When we don’t sacrifice we remain in a zone of comfort, with companions, and with pleasures. If one becomes a Christian and doesn’t face a challenge in these three areas, one would do well to check themselves with the teachings of Christ.

Because of the sacrifice of Christ, we have the opportunity to be forgive and live. The concept of substitutionary atonement implies that one is put in the place of the other. Because Jesus was willing to die instead of me, I am now supposed to live his life. If this is not the case, I will have to face the death penalty to pay for my crimes. This all involves the idea of sacrifice. We must give up our lives, lose them completely and life for the one who died for us instead.

This is not something that “feels” good initially however. We must rid ourselves of our desires and wants and that is not something that is enjoyable when you are so attached to something. We often forget the the things we attach ourselves to when we are living for ourselves are those things which will be shaken and fall when the Kingdom comes.

Sacrifice is an essential aspect of following the Messiah. Unless we are willing to give up our all, we are unfit to be his disciples. We must comprehend the magnitude of what we have been saved from and the mercy of God that has been shown to us so that we can see that sacrificing our own lives, passions, and desires is the logical response.

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) – “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

I’m writing this to encourage those of you who are making sacrifices because of your love for the Lord. Stick it out. Keep it up. Endure the temptation to take back what you’ve given up. Press through the challenging time when you are thinking about doing that thing you gave up again.

  • – For my dear young brother and sisters staying off of “myspace” for 40 days…keep it up.
  • – For my friends fasting…find your strength in the LORD.

  • – For those who have shut their TV’s off, may God direct you to more time
    with Him.

  • – For you who have left friends or family for the sake of the gospel, may you find a stronger family now and in the age to come.

Perhaps there is something in your life that you need to sacrifice because of your love for the LORD more than that thing, person, place, etc

Perhaps it is someone in your life. A girlfriend or boyfriend who is pressuring you to sin. A co-worker who constantly rejects the gospel but yet is fun to hang around.

Perhaps it is our time. Time spent reading the Bible rather than watching TV. Time fellowshipping at a Bible study instead of lounging around the house.

I imagine that it can be different for all of us, but we must all be willing to give it all for our Lord.

When we get to the point of feeling the pain or struggle because we are giving up something or someone, run to the Father for help – He will help. What an amazing God we have – a God who will help us give to Him what He rightly deserves – our whole heart, each aspect of our soul, every part of our mind, and all of our strength

– Can you relate to the need for sacrifice?

– Why do we hold on to things we shouldn’t?

– In light of sacrificing, how does our society influence us
otherwise?

– Has God been there to help you as you sacrifice for Him?

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