The Call To Sacrifice

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “sacrifice”.

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Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he (Jesus) said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”  (Mark 8:34-35 NLT)

The call to discipleship is a call to sacrifice.  It’s a truth we sometimes try to ignore.  We’d rather focus on God’s love and forgiveness, and how he accepts us as we are.

And he does.  All of those things are true, but if we’re truly going to follow him and know the life in its fullness that he calls us to, there are times when it will involve saying no to ourselves and choosing to do something we don’t want to do because he is calling us.

It’s tough.  As I think of sacrifice, it’s easy to be consumed by “What if…?”

What if I sacrifice this?
What if I do this hard thing that God is calling me to do?
What if it goes badly?
What if people don’t understand?

It comforts me that even Jesus was daunted by the idea of sacrifice, that he wept and prayed in the garden as he wrestled with the thought of all that lay ahead.  It means he understands.

It also reminds me that no sacrifice I can be asked to make will ever be bigger that the sacrifice he made for me.  It still doesn’t make it easy, but it gets things into perspective.  And the only way we’re going to be able to sacrifice as God asks us is to remember Jesus’ sacrifice.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame.”  (Hebrews 12:2)

In the end, Jesus considered that the sacrifice was worth it.

“When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.  And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous.”  (Isaiah 53:11 NLT)

And this gives me hope for the sacrifices I’m asked to make.  If God is calling me to do this, it will be worth it.  If it will help others and point them to Jesus, then it’s worth the risk.

 

 

16 thoughts on “The Call To Sacrifice

  1. Lesley, you reminded me of how important it is to see life from God’s vantage point and not our own. The song is beautiful – thank you for sharing it. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s funny, but I wrote about how God DOESN’T want our sacrifice (if by that we mean our self-imposed martyrdom and grumpy attitude). Yes, he wants us to give up things that bind us to the earth, but as you pointed out, Jesus is the only sacrifice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw someone else write about that too. I think it depends on what we mean by sacrifice. There are times he will ask us to make sacrifices, but it’s obedience he is really interested in rather than “self-imposed martyrdom”- I love that description!

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  3. I’ve often thought about the disciples and how they left their families and vocations and about what they sacrificed. Then of course as you remind us, there’s Jesus the ultimate sacrifice. His life for ours. And so with you, I want to remember that I have hope in the sacrifices I’m called to make. Love this!

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  4. Lesley, this perspective is key in walking out our faith effectively. When we remember that Jesus already made the biggest sacrifice, and that He did it because He LOVES us, that makes it easier to say, “Yes,” when God asks me to sacrifice something. Great words, friend!

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  5. I gave it at the office,
    I sent it through the mail;
    exactly how much sacrifice
    does the Christian life entail?
    I gave it coaching hours
    upon the football pitch;
    I gave it with the flowers
    to a roundly disliked witch.
    I gave it in the choir
    until my throat was sore
    (will the director soon retire?
    his music is a bore!).
    I gave away chances for fun
    and you say my giving’s just begun?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just glad it all depends on Jesus’ sacrifice and not ours! And that if God is asking us to give we’re called to do that from what he provides, not by ourselves!

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  6. I love these thoughts and truths. I wrestled with sacrifice a lot when we cared for my husband’s mother. It wasn’t a choice, really–it was something we had to do, and way out of my comfort zone and skill set. She was easy to get along with, but caregiving is still hard. But I kept coming up on the nature of service and laying down our lives for others in the Bible.

    Liked by 1 person

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