I have heard this word several times during this week, and it got me thinking about the word and its meaning. Merriam-Webster defines sacrifice as “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or help someone.”
This definition takes me back to my previous congregation in Charlotte, North Carolina. I remember we were having a coat drive, and the organizer was encouraging us to donate coats. At some point, he discussed the need to sacrifice, and said that a sacrifice was not getting the old coat that we couldn’t wear any longer or didn’t want, but rather it was getting that new coat that we loved and had just purchased. A sacrifice is not easily done, and it should be felt.
When I reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for us, I think of Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Then saith He unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26: 38-39 KJV).
Jesus was sorrowful, but He sacrificed Himself nonetheless. His sacrifice allows us to have an opportunity of eternal life. He sacrificed His life, for our lives. God calls His children to present themselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). This is not an easy task, but in sacrificing our life in this world, we gain eternal life with God. There is a hymn that calls to remembrance Jesus’ sacrifice, “Gethsemane Alone.” Part of the lyrics include:
Oh, what love, matchless love,
Oh, what love for me was shown!
His forever I will be,
For the love He gave to me,
When He suffered all alone.
"Tarry here,” He told the three,
“Tarry here and watch for Me,”
But they heard no bitter moan;
For the three disciples slept
While my loving Savior wept
In Gethsemane, alone.
Long in anguish deep was He,
Weeping there for you and me,
For our sin to Him was known;
We should love Him evermore
For the anguish that He bore
In Gethsemane, alone.
When our walk as Living Sacrifices becomes difficult, we should remember Jesus and His sacrifice. Truly the more difficult our ‘living sacrifice walk” becomes, the more we are in a sacrificial mode.
Glory To God - Janice
We often hear the statement “the greater the risk – the greater the return” in reference to monetary investments. There is a correlation between the level of risk and the level of return.
The higher the risk involved in the investment, the higher the rate of return; The more you are willing to risk, the more you are likely to receive. When I think about the Christian walk, I think there is some similarity. The more faith we have, the greater the reward; The more we trust God, the greater our reward.
When we trust God with the important and precious things in our lives, we are rewarded.
When we trust God with our future, we are rewarded: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV) .
When we trust God with our marriage, we are rewarded: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22 KJV).
When we trust God with our children, we are rewarded: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 KJV),
When we trust God with our lives, we are rewarded: “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Mark 10:39 KJV).
In trusting God with the precious things in our lives, we are demonstrating and acknowledging our faith in Him. It is this faith that is being rewarded. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)
Blessings To You – Janice
Associate Certified Coach, ICF