Sacrifice

In Canada, November 11 is the day we celebrate sacrifice – the sacrifice of soldiers who died for our country.

This has prompted me to think about how ready I am to sacrifice myself for my Lord.  In some countries, that is an everyday life-and-death question.

I have listened to radio interviews with soldiers who fought in the Second World War.  Almost always, they say they were ready to give their lives for their country because they felt it was the right thing to do.  They did not question it.

I hope I would respond in the same way if I were called upon to put my life on the line for the Lord.

In the book of Revelation, a loud voice in heaven says of Christians in the end times: “They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11)

The question for me – and for every believer – is: Do I value my earthly life so much that I cling to it at the expense of my Lord?

I heard a man say at a healing prayer seminar a few years ago that he had finally told God that he was no longer going to worry about how long he was going to live – he was giving that up to God.

For Western Christians, we live in a society where our lives are not in imminent danger.  But we face daily decisions where we must choose between God and the comforts and pleasures of our lives.

We are called upon to sacrifice our earthly desires for God.

Sometimes that thought repels us.  We feel that makes God seem like a spoil-sport, a meanie.  Surely, a loving God would not ask us to do hard things.

I believe God loves us and wants us to enjoy life and our relationship with him.  He knows that our ultimate joy is in Christ – not in video games or sex or making tons of money.  Many of these earthly pleasures are good – but only with our lives given over to God first.

I confess I struggle with this a lot.  I find it hard to say “No” to the little diversions which take me away from loving God and loving others.

Yet, I am reminded of the great passage in Hebrews 12:2:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

My true joy is in Jesus – now and forever.  He is worth any sacrifice.

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