In reading Oswald Chambers this morning, I am moved by the power of his words. (In reference to Abraham sacrificing his son) "This event is a picture of the mistake we make in thinking that the ultimate God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, that is, sacrifice our lives. Not--'Lord, I am ready to got with You...to death" (Luke 22:33). But--I m willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God."
It strikes me how little acquainted we Americans are at sacrificing. Credit card companies have built a billion dollar industry telling us we shouldn't have to wait for what we want. Commercials from every end of industry tell us we deserve, we don't need to wait, we don't need to sacrifice and work for what we want. In the old days, a person worked, saved the money, then bought an item. The god of entitlement slowly crept in, stabbed down its talons, and took us by the throat.
We're not entitled to anything.
I am no one special. Neither are you. Christ is. He lead the way, sacrificing much in life in order to bring us the abundance we now enjoy--and squander. No where is this more tragic than in the church (and in Christians in general). Are we gracious only when it benefits us? Are we kind only when we get some bang for our buck? Is the slogan, "What's in it for me?" your daily mantra?
What if Jesus thought like you do? I shudder to think. But there it is.
Let me ask: How much time to you spend praying daily? How much time do you devote to reading God's word daily? Is church another social club or are you involved and accountable to a local body? When is the last time you fasted and prayed? When is the last time you lead someone to the Lord? When is the last time you visited a shut-in or fellow Christian in hospital? Do you actively support missions? When is the last time you sat around the table of home-cooked food with your immediate family?
Now let me ask: When is the last time you went to the movies? How much time daily do you spend watching television daily? How much time do you devote to shopping? Or, going out to eat? How much money/time do you spend on: sports, beauty, entertainment, fun?
Our priorities are decidedly lopsided.
Yet, the only way to a real and vibrant life in Christ is through the same sacrifice He made--the sacrifice of your life in surrender to God. Many will choose continued selfishness but, in your life, is there no one you'd sacrifice for?