THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SACRIFICE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

SACRIFICE: Deliberately forsaking the security of satisfying our needs with our own resources in the faith and hope that God will sustain us. ~ The Life With God Bible

I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. ~ Romans 12:1 NLT

The Spiritual Discipline of Sacrifice is nourishment to our faith. As we step out into the uncertainty of giving up something we need to help a more needy person, we can be sure God will step in and reward our efforts in surprising and unusual ways.

As we give sacrificially out of our own need to meet the needs of others we are putting our security in God’s hands and not our own. We’re showing Him that we trust He will provide for our needs even when we don’t know how.

Sacrificing our comforts to help others becomes an act of worship. It takes our relationship with God to a different level. Not only for the purpose of our salvation, we’re giving God a sacrificial trust for provision of our needs. Then the needs of others can be met through the blessings God has provided for us. Sacrificing our comforts to help others becomes an act of worship.

We can’t out give God. The more we give, the more He will give to us.

Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return. ~ Luke 6:38 TPT

Contemplate the level of sacrifice in your walk with God as you listen/watch this lovely song by Planetshakers.

Free Will Sacrifices

God has given us the ability to make lots of choices.

  • You have the freedom to watch a certain program… Is that a good use of your time?
  • You have the liberty to surf the Internet all day… Is there a better use of your talents?
  • You have the freedom to eat that donut… Is this best for your body the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Just because someone else can do it doesn’t mean we can or should.

Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.    ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23 MSG

We must check our choices:

  • Is this choice leading to something good in your life?
  • Is this choice leading to something good in someone else’s life?

It isn’t about whether something is right or wrong. It’s about getting God’s blessing.

It’s about getting the best life He has available for us. God is a gentleman He won’t force us to choose something good. It’s up to us. It’s OUR choice!

We must decide what we want Good, Better or Best?

Do we want to live a mediocre life, just barely getting by until Jesus takes us to heaven?

Or do we want to sacrifice our free will on the altar of our transformation and allow God to change us and improve us through the best choices He wants for us?

Is the altar of sacrifice calling you? Let’s ask God to bind us to His altar so we will never be tempted to turn away from a life fully dedicated to Him.

 

Counting the Cost of Discipleship


While in the midst of transition into our new home, for this week’s column I’ve decided to post a quote from a recent sermon I heard. On Sunday the pastor at a church we attended here in California, spoke about the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In his message he used a quote from an anonymous Christian that I thought was so excellent, it needed to be repeated and passed on to others.

Jesus gave His all to save us from the pit of Hell we should spend eternity in. With His very life Christ paved a clear path that leads us into the presence of the Holy Father. Is it too much to ask that we live our lives in a sacrificial way for Him? What price are we willing to pay? What price are we paying?

I hope this speaks to your heart as it did mine. May this challenge us to count our cost of being a disciple of Christ…

“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made, I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotion or popularity. I don’t have to be right, top, first, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, live by prayer and labor by power. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide reliable and my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I’ve stayed up, prayed up, paid up and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop and preach till all know. And when He comes for His own He will have no problem recognizing me — my colors will be clear. “ — Author Unknown

…anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. — Luke 14:27