Today I posted this question to ponder on my facebook wall:
Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for you. What have you sacrificed for Him lately?
Have you ever seriously pondered this? It was a challenge to myself, and I hope you’ll allow it to challenge you.
Are you living sacrificially?
Honestly, we will never be able to give Christ everything He deserves from us while we tread in this life. But we should at least give it a go, right?
So, how might that look? Believe me, I’m no expert, but I’m willing to dig in and learn…care to join me?
Let’s look to Romans 12
We have to make a conscious choice to not be influenced by the world around us. We have to dig into His Word and renew our minds…daily. It’s so simple to let the world sneak into our minds.
The world tells us,
- “It’s been a long and tiring week, I don’t need to go to church today.”
- “Yeah, I know I missed last Sunday, but I really need to catch up on housework.”
- “Oh, the budget is so tight this month, the church won’t notice if I don’t tithe just this once.”
- “I’ve served my time in the church, I deserve to observe rather than serve.”
- “I know I’m not the only Christian who sees that homeless man on the corner everyday, surely someone else is helping him out.”
- “The style of clothing I wear to church shouldn’t matter. They should know to control their thoughts anyway.” (Referring to modesty here…not dressy or casual)
- “Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be at the top of my priority list. I’m sure I’ll find time to fit it into my day.”
- “There are too many hypocrites in churches today.”
- “Why should I pray when God already knows what I need?”
I could go on, but you get the picture.
I have struggled with many of these nagging voices trying to convince me to, in all honesty, be a lazy and uncaring Christian.
Can we address these lies of the Enemy with the Word of God? Let’s see…
- “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (The Message)
- “Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.” Mark 12:41-44 (The Message)
- “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV)
- “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5 (ESV)
- “ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
- “…Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (ESV) Here’s a good blog that speaks more in depth to modesty.
- “Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (The Message)
- “Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.” Matthew 5:17-18 (The Message)
- We’re All in the Same Sinking Boat (Romans 3:9-20)
9-20 So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it:
There’s nobody living right, not even one,
nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.
No one’s living right;
I can’t find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
their tongues slick as mudslides.
Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
They open their mouths and pollute the air.
They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
Don’t know the first thing about living with others.
They never give God the time of day.
This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin. (Sorry I know that was long, but, Wow, it preaches!)
- “13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[a] 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” James 5:13-18 (ESV)
- “14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
And there are so many more Scriptural rebuttals that we can glean from God’s Word.
So, let’s challenge each other (because, yes, I need it too) that next time we find ourselves tempted to give in to the lies of the world, to seek after the TRUTH of God’s Word. Seek living a life of sacrifice…that is going against everything our human selves desire. Sacrificing it. And seeking to fulfill the desires of God for our lives! IT’S NOT GOING TO BE EASY!! Oh, but can you imagine how WONDERFUL it will be!!!