Friday, March 23, 2012

Sacrificing Like Christ

On Sunday I preached that we are to walk in love, which means that our lives are to be lives of giving, lives of sacrifice. This came from Ephesians 5:1-2 and also reflecting on Romans 5:6-8.  I then gave four ways we can know that we are learning to sacrifice like Christ.

1. We are learning to sacrifice without resentment. Sacrifice with bitterness is not sacrificing like Christ.

2. We are learning to sacrifice when there is nothing in it for us. If we have a "I do this for you, but you will do something for me" mentality we are not sacrificing like Christ. What can you give to Christ for what he has done for you? This is a great danger for parents who often give to their children in the hopes that the children will give back to them.

3. We are learning to sacrifice for those who do not deserve it.  Let's state the obvious: Jesus gave for those did not deserve, you and me.  Go and do likewise. It is a great twisting of grace to only give to those who we think deserve it.

4. We are learning to sacrifice with joy.  A sacrifice that is sour is a sacrifice tainted with sin.  This does not mean you ignore the difficulty of sacrificing for others. (See Jesus in the garden.) But it means that we should be glad to lay down our money, time, energy, and dreams for those around us.

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8