Sacrifice is not a favorite concept. Most of us Westerners are not very courageous about sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others. Laying down our lives, our negative words, our self-serving attitudes does NOT come naturally. I love my comforts and securities as much as the next person. I desire a hope-filled life, a life cushioned from adversities and betrayals; yet life seldom unfolds that way.
I’m very much an optimist–loving to see life from the ‘bright side.’ I love a good laugh at myself. I love my Lord. I love the faith walk. I love resting on His promises. And I love His people [though admit to some being a little more challenging than others]. Scripture teaches me that I’m called to lay down my life for the Lord and for others.
Isn’t it inspiring to watch or read of the lives of heroes who have done just that? In fact, it’s a much easier spectator sport than actually doing the sacrificing myself.
For the sake of loving as Father God would have it, and truly desiring to be like His Son Jesus, I’ve had some challenges that crucify my flesh. It’s no fun! I admit it! Crucifixion is a slow death–never an instant one. The flesh dies hard!! Oh, so hard. I want to speak that smart retort. I want to bear my wounded soul to the one who hurt me. I want to demand justice [my version, that is]. I’m tempted to gloat when others learn their lessons when they’ve betrayed me. This is the best my flesh can offer…and it stinks! Dying flesh REALLY put off the odor!
Studying the life and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, I read that not only are my actions to portray His love, but so are my heart responses. Those secret sins that lurk in the dark places of my soul are the foxes that spoil the vine intended to bear godly fruit. Some of them are not such little foxes either.
I really don’t like the fact that love costs. But it does. It ultimately pays off in Kingdom currency. So…again…I repent of my stubborn flesh that wants the best of the Kingdom of God at a bargain-basement price.