October 31, 2010

A Sacrificing Spirit

Hi all. I have recently been thinking of something that is very difficult for me. This thing that I speak of is known as sacrifice. Sacrifice, by definition means;

"The surrender
or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim."

I can't even being to count how many times I thought I was doing something sacrificially when really, there was a motive behind my actions. A motive to bring glory and honor to myself. This is not sacrifice at all, in fact, it's just the opposite. When I think of sacrifice for Christ, I think of the verse in
John 12:24-25 that says,

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

I'm sure people who hear this verse out of context think "Are those Christians crazy?, why would anyone willing hate their life?" But that's not the meaning of the verse. Christ is saying that the man who lays down his own life for Christ and for others, will keep it forever and spend eternity in Heaven. We are naturally selfish beings, we are brought into the world with a mindset of "me, myself, and I". It only get's worse as we get older. "Where will I go to college? Will will be my friends? Where will I work? Who will I marry, how many children will I have? Where will I live?" That's not to say that these things are bad, they are great things to think about but they cause us to focus on ourselves and no one else. I am currently going through the "Experiencing God" study book which I would recommend to everyone but basically, I was having doubts and questions about the will of the Lord for my life. That morning's study said something that hit me hard. It said, when we ask the wrong questions, we get the wrong answers. We should not ask "Lord, what is your will for my life?" but "Lord, what is your will?" Our lives are but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. That is not to say that God doesn't have a plan for my life or yours, he does, but I believe he calls us to think outside of ourselves and to ask him how we can lay down our lives for the sake of the cross. Gay Thomas, author of the book "Authentic Faith" says,
"Once we adopt a heart of sacrifice, everything else tends to fall into place."

In itself, sacrifice means that we will eventually come up against something that we want but that is against the will of God. This is the defining point of sacrifice. Will we sacrifice and choose to obey? or choose to follow our own will? Sacrifice is the heart of the true, authentic, christian life.

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