What sacrifices am I making to follow Jesus?
Think about that question for a while. I mean it, take a few moments right now and consider what sacrifices you are making in your life that would qualify you to be Jesus disciple. Remember Jesus said:
“If any of you want to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24; NLT).One of the ideas of shouldering your cross is the idea of sacrificial service. So the question is still out there for you to consider: What sacrifices am I making to follow Jesus? To put it another way: How am I shouldering my cross? Take a few moments on ponder this question…
Leon Morris in his book The Atonement points out:
The way of salvation is a way of sacrifice. That means basically that it is the sacrifice of Christ that takes away sins once and for all. But it also means that those for whom the sacrifice was offered live sacrificially (pg. 65).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t live sacrificially. I don’t give of my money sacrificially, I don’t offer my time sacrificially, and I certainly don’t love sacrificially. Perhaps I am being too hard on myself because I do give money, volunteer my time, and love others so it is not like I am being totally selfish.
Then again maybe we have lowered out standards to make ourselves feel good. I think far too often we give out of our excess and as a result have seldom experienced what true sacrifice is like. We don’t know the uncomfortable feelings that are connected with sacrifice and stretching our limits.
Here is my suggestion. Pray and ask God how you can sacrifice for Him, and then do it. If God reveals your family should adopt another child into your family then begin the process. If God reveals to give up some of those extra hours at work to help with mid-week youth program at your local church then make it happen. If God reveals that you need help you elderly neighbor with some groceries and bills, even though it will make it difficult for you this month, start making cuts in your budget.
Sacrifice is the result of obedience. The harder it is for us to obey the bigger the sacrifice God is expecting us to make. It isn’t easy to follow Jesus and to do the right thing, but then again it wasn’t easy for Jesus to die on the cross. Ultimately our sacrificial service is an indication of our appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made for us.