Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- July 18, 2013
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. Hebrews 11:24-26
To sacrifice is to give up something for a purpose greater than ourselves. Moses gave up status for servanthood. He gave up the fleeting pleasures of sin for cruel mistreatment with the masses. He gave up fame and fortune in disgrace for the sake of Christ. Moses gave up rewards on earth as he looked ahead to his rewards in heaven. Yes, examples of sacrificial living energize others to sacrifice. The sacrificial spirit of past saints give inspiration, as do sacrificial givers of today.
Who comes to your mind as an example of sacrificial living? A mother who sacrifices her comfort to comfort her children? She sacrifices her leisure time to serve the disabled, the elderly or the chronically ill. A father who sacrifices his career for a focused season of service to his family? He sacrifices his hobby so he is able to volunteer at church, attend school events and serve on a board. Soldiers sacrifice for their country. Teachers sacrifice for their students. Civic leaders sacrifice for their citizens. Pastors sacrifice for their flock. And spouses sacrifice for their spouse.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
Where is Christ calling you to sacrifice? Vocationally, you may need to give up an advancement opportunity and status for availability and humility. Spiritually, you may need to give up an unhealthy habit for a righteous routine. Relationally, you may need to give up a fertile field of temptation for guardrails of accountability. Physically, you may need to give up excessive food intake for smaller portions. Financially, you may need to give up accumulation for distribution.
Above all else, think and pray often on the ultimate sacrifice of life Jesus gave so we could have life in Him. He laid down His life to lift ours up in abundance. He took on the form of a servant so we could be free to serve Him. He gave up the accolades of a conventional teacher so we could become students of His unconventional teaching. He sacrificed for our sin so we could be forgiven and free not to sin. He gave up His life so we could give back our life on His behalf!
By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. Isaiah 53:8
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow in me a sacrificial spirit that quietly serves others.
Related Readings: Romans 3:25; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; Galatians 6:9; Ephesians 5:2
Post/Tweet today: To sacrifice is to give up something for a purpose greater than ourselves. #sacrificialspirit
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