Sacrifice

Do you know what it is to sacrifice?

I’m not talking about those selfish sacrifices, where you sacrifice time of relaxing to train for a competition, or where you sacrifice the sweet delights of dessert for the sake of losing a few kilograms of weight. I’m talking about giving up something that means a lot to you for the sake of someone else or for the sake of the Gospel.

Paul shares his experience of sacrifice in Philippians 3 : 8

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him…”

In other passages Paul mentions everything he suffered and how he often went hungry, was persecuted, beaten, chained and suffered… Why?

Why do we sacrifice? What motivates us to make those sacrifices? Any sacrifice, whether selfish or unselfish, is motivated by a passion or a love for something or someone.

sacrifice-of-the-saviorIn the scripture above Paul gives us a peak into what motivates him to suffer loss and sacrifice. He says, “For his sake…” Who is this person who makes it worth it for Paul to suffer the loss of all things? This is the person of Jesus Christ. The One who left his throne in Heaven to dwell amongst man, to suffer and be crucified for our sins so that we can be reconciled to God. The One who was willing to humble Himself to be put to death on a cross!

That is the ultimate sacrifice. It is this love and this sacrifice that motivates Paul to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel.

How about you? Are you making sacrifices for the sake of Christ? Have you come to fully understand the extent of Christ’s love for you when He died on the cross? Does His love motivate you to make sacrifices?

If you ever find it hard to make a sacrifice for the sake of Christ, think again on His sacrifice for you.

David-Livingstone.jpg“Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.”   -David Livingstone

 

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Coming to terms with loss

In the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to comfort and console many who are experiencing bereavement. Loss of a family member, a friend or even a pet. It is devastating to lose someone you love, and trust me when I say that I know what it is to lose someone you care deeply for to death.sculpture2_645_469_55

But through all of this I feel the pain of loss even for something I never had… a child…

The Lord has been so good to us and has blessed us in so many ways but sometimes there is this empty ache in my heart when I feel the loss of the child I may never have.

I read the Bible where it encourages me to be content in whatever circumstances I am and I feel guilty for not being content with all the many blessings that God has given me.

I read the Bible where it encourages me to trust in the Lord with all my heart and He will make my paths straight and I am thrilled with how I can rest in my Abba Father with my circumstances and know that He is in control… but the pain doesn’t go away.

Over time the pain gets better but then it comes back and it overwhelms me and I feel like Peter looking at those waves, willing myself to look away but I can’t! I’m sinking! Jesus help me! This is a continuous battle.

I am grateful that I have a wonderful husband, I am grateful that we have a roof over our head and food on our table. I am grateful for the vehicles we have to be able to move around as well as the means to put fuel in the tank. I am grateful for our cat and her beautiful personality. I am grateful for all the many gadgets and other blessings we have like clothes and shoes etc. I am grateful for the mornings we can sleep in because it’s just the two of us and I am so grateful to God for giving us this time together as husband and wife. But OH!… I long for a time where there will be a little body in my arms. I long to see my husband as a father. I long for those pyjama drills and dirty nappies… It probably sounds like I am crazy… Am I?

But through all of this, I am grateful that in my heart I still find that there is a peace and a trust and a knowledge that God, my Father, knows best and will provide what we need.

” We know that He works all things together for the good for those who love Him.”

Romans 8:28