Tag Archives: sacrifice

Self-Sacrifice To Save Others

 

The Delight of Sacrifice

From: My Utmost For HIs Highest

I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls . . . —2 Corinthians 12:15

Once “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit,” we deliberately begin to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests and purposes in others’ lives (Romans 5:5). And Jesus has an interest in every individual person. We have no right in Christian service to be guided by our own interests and desires. In fact, this is one of the greatest tests of our relationship with Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, Jesus (see John 15:13). I don’t throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people. And I do this for no cause or purpose of my own. Paul spent his life for only one purpose— that he might win people to Jesus Christ. Paul always attracted people to his Lord, but never to himself. He said, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

When someone thinks that to develop a holy life he must always be alone with God, he is no longer of any use to others. This is like putting himself on a pedestal and isolating himself from the rest of society. Paul was a holy person, but wherever he went Jesus Christ was always allowed to help Himself to his life. Many of us are interested only in our own goals, and Jesus cannot help Himself to our lives. But if we are totally surrendered to Him, we have no goals of our own to serve. Paul said that he knew how to be a “doormat” without resenting it, because the motivation of his life was devotion to Jesus. We tend to be devoted, not to Jesus Christ, but to the things which allow us more spiritual freedom than total surrender to Him would allow. Freedom was not Paul’s motive at all. In fact, he stated, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren . . .” (Romans 9:3). Had Paul lost his ability to reason? Not at all! For someone who is in love, this is not an overstatement. And Paul was in love with Jesus Christ.

Be Content About Your Life

From: AcademicTips.org

Wonder if any of you ever had the feeling that life is bad, real bad… and you wish you were in another situation? Do you find that life seems to make things difficult for you, work sucks, life sucks, everything seems to go wrong?

It was not until yesterday that I totally changed my views about life; after a conversation with one of my friends.

He told me despite taking 2 jobs, and bringing back barely above $1000 per month, he is happy as he is. I wonder how he can be as happy as he is now, considering that he has to skimp his life with the low pay to support a pair of old-age parents, in-laws, wife, 2 daughters and the many bills of a household.

He explained that it was through one incident that he saw in India.

That happened a few years ago when he was really feeling low and was touring India after a major setback. He said that right in front of his very eyes, he saw an Indian mother chopped off her child’s right hand with a chopper. The helplessness in the mother’s eyes, the scream of the pain from the innocent 4 years old child haunted him until today. You may ask why did the mother do so, has the child been naughty, was the child’s hand infected??

No, it was done for two simple words — to beg. The desperate mother deliberately caused the child to be handicapped so that the child can go out to the streets to beg. I cannot accept how this could happen, but it really did, just in another part of the world which I don’t see.

Taken aback by the scene, he dropped a small piece of bread he was eating half-way. And almost instantly, flock of 5 or 6 children swamp towards this small piece of bread which was then covered with sand, robbing of bits from one another. The natural reaction of hunger. Striken by the happenings, he instructed his guide to drive him to the nearest bakery. He arrived at two bakeries and bought every single loaf of bread he found in the bakeries.

The owner is dumb-folded, but willing, sold everything. He spent less than $100 to obtain about 400 loaf of bread (this is less than $0.25/per loaf) and spend another $100 to get daily necessities. Off he went in the truck full of bread into the streets. As he distributed the bread and necessities to the children (mostly handicapped) and a few adults, he received cheers and bows from these unfortunate. For the first time in life he wonder how people can give up their dignity for a loaf of bread which cost less than $0.25. He began to ask himself how fortunate he is as a Singaporean. How fortunate he to be able to have a complete body, have a job, have a family, have the chance to complain what food is nice what isn’t, have the chance to be clothed, have the many things that these people in front of him are deprived of…

Now I begin to think and feel it, too. Was my life really that bad?

Perhaps….no… it should not be bad at all….

What about you? Maybe the next time you think you are, think about the child who lost one hand to beg on the streets.

Story By Wendy Tan

A box of kisses

From: AcademicTips.org

Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.

He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said,”Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.
It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us as humans have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

Mom’s Last Laugh

From; AcademicTips.org

Consumed by my loss, I didn’t notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend — my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense, I found it hard to breathe at times.

Always supportive, mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father’s death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life.

When mother’s illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her. I counted it an honor.

“What now, Lord?” I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before meas an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife’s hand.

My sister sat slumped against her husband’s shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished and I was alone.

I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears.

He began to sniffle. ”I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary. After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, “Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of ‘Margaret’?”

“Oh” “Because that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary. No one called her ‘Mary,’ I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn’t have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

“No, that isn’t correct,” he insisted, as several people glanced over at us whispering, “Her name is Mary, Mary Peters.”

“That isn’t who this is, I replied..”

“Isn’t this the Lutheran church?”

“No, the Lutheran church is across the street.”

“Oh.”

“I believe you’re at the wrong funeral, Sir.”

The solemnness of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter.

I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs.

The creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious. I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me.He was laughing, too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit.

I imagined mother laughing.

At the final “Amen,” we darted out a door and into the parking lot. “I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled. He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt’s funeral, asked me out for a cup of coffee.

That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place.

A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time. In my time of sorrow, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave me love. This past June we celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Whenever anyone asks us how we met, Rick tells them, “Her mother and my Aunt Mary introduced us, and it’s truly a match made in heaven.”

Author Unknown

Living Sacrifices

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Is My Sacrifice Living?

From: My Utmost for HIs Highest

Abraham built an altar . . . ; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar . . . —Genesis 22:9

This event is a picture of the mistake we make in thinking that the ultimate God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, that is, sacrifice our lives. Not— “Lord, I am ready to go with You . . . to death” (Luke 22:33). But— “I am willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God.”We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this error, and the same process is at work in our lives. God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself. It is a matter of loosening the bands that hold back our lives. Those bands are loosened immediately by identification with the death of Jesus. Then we enter into a relationship with God whereby we may sacrifice our lives to Him.It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants you to be a “living sacrifice”— to let Him have all your strengths that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus (Romans 12:1). This is what is acceptable to God.

Angel Knocking at the Door

From: inspirationalarchives.com

There came a frantic knock
At the doctor’s office door,
A knock, more urgent than
he had ever heard before.
~~~~
“Come in, Come in,”
the impatient doctor said,
“Come in, Come in,
before you wake the dead.”
~~
In walked a frightened little girl,
a child no more than nine,
It was plain for all to see,
she had troubles on her mind.
~~~
“Oh doctor, I beg you,
please come with me,
My mother is surely dying,
she’s as sick as she can be.”
~~~~
“I don’t make house calls,
bring your mother here,”
“But she’s too sick,
so you must come or she will die I fear.”
~~~~
The doctor, touched by her devotion,
decided he would go,
She said he would be blessed,
more than he could know.
~~~~
She led him to her house
where her mother lay in bed,
Her mother was so very sick
she couldn’t raise her head.
~~~~
But her eyes cried out for help
and help her the doctor did,
She would have died that very night
had it not been for her kid.
~~~~
The doctor got her fever down
and she lived through the night,
And morning brought the doctor signs,
that she would be all right.
~~~~
The doctor said he had to leave
but would return again by two,
And later he came back to check,
just like he said he’d do.
~~~~
The mother praised the doctor
for all the things he’d done,
He told her she would have died,
were it not for her little one.
~~~~
“How proud you must be
of your wonderful little girl,
It was her pleading that made me come,
she is really quite a pearl!
~~~~
“But doctor, my daughter died
over three years ago,
Is the picture on the wall
of the little girl you know?”
~~~~
The doctors legs went limp
for the picture on the wall,
Was the same little girl
for whom he’d made this call.
~~~~
The doctor stood motionless,
for quite a little while,
And then his solemn face,
was broken by his smile.
~~~~
He was thinking of that frantic knock
heard at his office door,
And of the beautiful little angel
that had walked across his floor.
I KNOW there are Angels among us…….

Author Unknown

 

Things aren’t always what they seem

From: inspirationalarchives.com

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead, the angels were given a space in the cold basement. As they made their bedroom the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied…. “Things aren’t always what they seem.”

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good nights’ rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel “How could you have let this happen!? The first man had everything, yet you helped him,” she accused. ”The second family had so little, but was willing to share everything and you let their cow die.”

“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied.”When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave her the cow instead. “Things aren’t always what they seem.”

Sometimes this is exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the way you think they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You might not know it until some time later. “Things aren’t always what they seem.”

 

Your Angel

From: inspirationalarchives.com

Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born. So one day he asked God: “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”

God replied, “Among the many angels, I chose one for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

“But tell me, here in Heaven, I don’t do anything else but sing and smile, that’s enough for me to be happy.”

“Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day. And you will feel your angel’s love and be happy.”

“And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me, if I don’t know the language that men talk?”

“Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”

“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”

“Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

“I’ve heard that on earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?”

“Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.”

“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”

“Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.”

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard, and the child in a hurry asked softly:

“Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”

“Your angel’s name is of no importance, you will call your angel: Mommy.”

Author Unknown

 

Stories to Consider

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Helpless love

Once upon a time all feelings and emotions went to a coastal island for a vacation. According to their nature, each was having a good time. Suddenly, a warning of an impending storm was announced and everyone was advised to evacuate the island.

The announcement caused sudden panic. All rushed to their boats. Even damaged boats were quickly repaired and commissioned for duty.

Yet, Love did not wish to flee quickly. There was so much to do. But as the clouds darkened, Love realised it was time to leave. Alas, there were no boats to spare. Love looked around with hope.

Just then Prosperity passed by in a luxurious boat. Love shouted, “Prosperity, could you please take me in your boat?”

“No,” replied Prosperity, “my boat is full of precious possessions, gold and silver. There is no place for you.”

A little later Vanity came by in a beautiful boat. Again Love shouted, “Could you help me, Vanity? I am stranded and need a lift. Please take me with you.”

Vanity responded haughtily, “No, I cannot take you with me. My boat will get soiled with your muddy feet.”

Sorrow passed by after some time. Again, Love asked for help. But it was to no avail. “No, I cannot take you with me. I am so sad. I want to be by myself.”

When Happiness passed by a few minutes later, Love again called for help. But Happiness was so happy that it did not look around, hardly concerned about anyone.

Love was growing restless and dejected. Just then somebody called out, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” Love did not know who was being so magnanimous, but jumped on to the boat, greatly relieved that she would reach a safe place.

On getting off the boat, Love met Knowledge. Puzzled, Love inquired, “Knowledge, do you know who so generously gave me a lift just when no one else wished to help?”

Knowledge smiled, “Oh, that was Time.”

“And why would Time stop to pick me and take me to safety?” Love wondered.

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and replied, “Because only Time knows your true greatness and what you are capable of. Only Love can bring peace and great happiness in this world.”

“The important message is that when we are prosperous, we overlook love. When we feel important, we forget love. Even in happiness and sorrow we forget love. Only with time do we realize the importance of love. Why wait that long? Why not make love a part of your life today?”

Author Unknown

Planting Potatoes

When I was a boy growing up we had several gardens around our old house. The largest one of all was used just for growing potatoes.

I can still remember those potato planting days. The whole family helped. After my Dad had tilled the soil, my Mom, brothers, and I went to work. It was my job to drop the little seed potatoes in the rows while my Mom dropped handfuls of fertilizer beside them. My brothers then covered them all with the freshly turned earth.

For months afterward I would glance over at the garden while I played outside and wonder what was going on underneath the ground. When the harvest time came I was amazed at the huge size of the potatoes my Dad pulled out of the soil. Those little seedlings had grown into bushels and bushels of sweet sustenance. They would be turned into meal after meal of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, and my personal favorite: potatoes slowed cooked in spaghetti sauce. They would keep the entire family well fed throughout the whole year. It truly was a miracle to behold.

Thinking back on those special times makes me wonder how many other seeds I have planted in this life that have grown unseen in the hearts and minds of others. How many times has God used some little thing that I said or did to grow something beautiful? How many times has Heaven used these little seedlings to provide another’s soul with sweet sustenance?

Every single day of our lives we step out into the garden of this world. Every single day we plant seeds that can grow into something wonderful. We may never see the growth that comes from the kind words or loving acts we share but God does. I hope then that you always tend the garden around you with care. I hope that you plant only goodness, peace, and compassion in the lives of everyone you meet. I hope that everyday you help miracles to grow.

By Joe Mazzella

Two Traveling Angels

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family.

The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem.”

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife.

After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, “How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him.” – she accused. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”

“Things aren’t always what they seem.” – the older angel replied.

“When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren’t always what they seem.”

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You might not know it until some time later…

Should you find it hard to get to sleep tonight,
remember the homeless family who has no bed to lie in.

Should you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t despair,
there are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard-of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work,
think of the man who has been out of work for many months struggling to feed his family.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror,
think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking, “What is my purpose?”, be thankful,
there are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity.

Author Unknown

Nothing Can Separate

 

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NOTHING CAN SEPARATE

From her bedroom window, Rebecca eyed the children playing in the snow enviously. How she longed to play with them!

“Now, Rebecca,” she remembered her father telling her that morning. “You can’t play in the snow today.”

“Why not, Father?” Rebecca had asked. Every day, the neighborhood children gathered at a park just behind Rebecca’s house.

“Just trust me, Rebecca. It’s not what’s best for you today,” her father had replied.

At the time, Rebecca had responded by kissing her father on his cheek and assuring him that she would stay inside and read. But now she was having second thoughts.

It is beautiful outside, she thought to herself. It was true: the sun was shining brilliantly. Why wouldn’t her father let her go play? Why should she have to miss out on all the fun?

When a snowball exploded just outside her window, Rebecca decided she couldn’t stand it any longer. She simply had to go join the others!

Leaving her book on the table, Rebecca slipped outside. She tried to tell herself she was having a good time, but all the while her heart felt uncomfortable. She kept looking this way and that, fearful least her father see her.

After a few hours, Rebecca finally said her goodbyes and headed back towards the house. She wanted to be safely lodged in her room before her father came home.

Intent on getting to her room as quickly as possible, Rebecca didn’t see the mitten someone had left on the stairs until her foot slipped on it. Next thing she knew, she had fallen several stairs. To her horror, she noticed that she had hit her father’s favorite picture when she fell! A huge gash ran along the front of the picture.

Normally, Rebecca would have hurried immediately to her father after such a fall so he could doctor her up and make her feel better. But not this time. How could she face her father right now? She had disobeyed him and ruined his favorite picture! Biting her lips to keep from crying out, Rebecca grabbed the ruined picture and hobbled to her room.

For the remainder of the day, she lay in agony. Her body ached from the bruises she received on her fall. But her heart—ah, that ached worse of all! She felt certain that her father would no longer love her. She had messed up in the past, but surely this time she had gone too far! He would probably never want to speak to her again. How could he still love her?

She sobbed uncontrollably on her pillow. She had always been close to her father. They had played and studied together. They had laughed and cried together. But not now. No, she felt certain that all those wonderful times were over.

Who knows how long she would have lain thus had not her nanny come in to check on her. Rebecca’s nanny had a way about her of finding out exactly what was wrong and offering solid, wise counsel. Tonight was no exception.

“Rebecca, dear,” she said firmly, but gently. “You’ve been very wrong. But you must not continue in your wrongness by sitting here. You must go to your father with the broken picture in your hand and tell him everything.”

“Oh, but I can’t! I’m not worthy of His love!” Rebecca sobbed.

Her nanny sighed patiently. “You were no more worthy of it yesterday than today, child. Your father loves you because you’re his daughter, not because of anything you do or don’t do. Hasn’t he told you everyday since you were a little girl, ‘I love you’? Do you doubt his word? Do you really think his love is dependent on you?”

Doubt his word—that was an angle Rebecca had never thought of before. Maybe she should go see her father…yes, she must go see him, for if she didn’t, she’d never be able to rest.

So, still shaking and trembling with fear, Rebecca limped down the hall to the living room. She paused at the doorway. Her father was sitting in his favorite chair, just like he did every night. He looked up when she entered, and a smile radiating with love illuminated his face.

“Ah, you’ve come at last! I’ve been waiting. Come, sit here on my lap.” As he spoke, he opened his arms widely.

Rebecca couldn’t stand it. “Oh, you don’t understand, Father! You can’t love me anymore. I’ve been terribly wicked and-” Rebecca held up the picture frame for her father to see.

“I know, Rebecca—more than you think. I watched you go outside. I watched you fall and hit the picture frame. I saw it all.”

“You did?” Rebecca was flabbergasted. “But-but weren’t you at work?”

Her father shook his head. “I took the day off to spend some special time with you. That’s why I told you not to go outside to play. Ever since I saw you fall, I’ve been longing for you to come to me so I could bandage your wounds and help you. Won’t you come now?”

Rebecca could hardly believe her ears. Her father had planned to spend the afternoon with her…and she had missed it. Oh, what foolishness! Yet her father knew it all…and loved her anyway. Could it be? “But, Father, how can you love me now?”

Rebecca’s father smiled a smile she would never forget. “Rebecca, dear, I loved you before you were born. You’re my daughter. And I will always love you. Although sometimes your actions will result in consequences you could have avoided, nothing can ever separate you from my love. Now won’t you come and let me help you with those bruises?”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:35-37

From: Christianperspective.net

 

The Sacrificial Life

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Mark 8:34-38

8:34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
8:35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
8:36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?
8:37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?
8:38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:34-38 – The Sacrificial Life

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Mark 8:34-38 – The Sacrificial Life

“People who have faith in Jesus are people who are lost in Jesus.  They are people who lose their old lives that once pursued dreams of wealth and financial stability, good health, and happy families and have exchanged them for being content in whatever or wherever God leads them.  Though this does not mean that all Christians are poor, sick and childless, but it does mean that their life’s pursuit is Jesus seen through a life of prayer, sacrificial giving, study and fellowship regardless of whether they are rich or poor, sick or well.  The goal of their life is to find more of Jesus, not more money, health and pleasure.

Skeptics would have you believe that the Christian life is a joyless life, and they’re right insofar as the world is concerned.  Living a life for Jesus is to deny some of life’s pleasures in order to enjoy even deeper eternal realities in Jesus.  Taking up one’s cross by being unashamed of what Jesus taught, lived and died for is to invite hardships and persecutions into your life.

But skeptics fail to understand the joy the Christian experiences in Jesus, and they fail to understand them because they are not sensible to spiritual realities.  The skeptic has no fear of hell because they don’t believe that God exists, let alone places like heaven and hell.  They do not fear any consequences for their sins because they do not believe they commit them.  So the unbeliever has no reason to find relief in Jesus because they do not believe the threat.  They have no reason to take comfort in his gifts because they do not believe he offers them.  They have no ability to perceive of the freedom Jesus offers through faith.

Those who give up their old lives for Jesus and his gospel find a new life.  They find a life abundantly in the promises that are offered by faith in Jesus that offer eternal life in the world to come.  Those who deny their best life now, bet their lives on Christ and they continue believe in him on account of the reassuring, indescribable joy that comes from knowing the God of all Creation through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Atone Bible Commentary.

1. Jesus left all to come to earth and make it possible for us  to be with Him in Heaven.

2. No person can serve two masters. Christians choose Christ.

3. There is great joy in the service for the Lord with a new abundant life.

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