Now I know in part...

Sacrifice seems to require a cost

January 6th, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Books, Cover posts, Thinking biblical | 2 Comments

I love the notion of sacrifice in theory, but in practice I instinctively opt for side-stepping it at virtually every opportunity. I respect it so much when I see it in others, and deep down dream of being a man of sacrifice big time… but when the moment arrives to follow through, I almost always bail out, put off by the cost and inconvenience.

Sacrifice is exactly what the Christian life calls us to though. If we’re serious about following Jesus, we’re required (demanded?) to make our peace with it. Biblically there’s no getting around it. Following Gods every instruction will cost us. Sacrifice by definition requires there be a cost, if there wasn’t one, it would cease to be a sacrifice. I’m stupid to think otherwise.

A few paragraphs of a book I read a few weeks ago left me feeling pretty challenged…

“We are groomed to become someone, not to empty ourselves for others. But in order to follow Jesus Christ with any degree of tenacity, we inevitably will be prompted to  take demonstrations. We will be asked to relinquish what is “rightfully” ours. We will inconvenience ourselves to the point of sacrifice, even when others call us fools. And we will do it for two simple reasons: first, we understand that the kingdom of God never advances without sacrifice; and second, because every serious-minded Christian I know wants to receive a heartfelt “well done!” in heaven someday.

In fact, almost every time you hear a prompting from God, something safe or predictable most likely has to go  but you persevere knowing that when you take the risks he as asking you to take – as you conform to his mission in yet one more way – the kingdom moves forward.

This is what it looks like to live a life fully surrendered to God. Its rarely a walk in the park. Obeying the Spirit instead of your own self-centered whims will lead you to places you’ve never been, challenge you in ways you have never been challenged and invite levels of sacrifice you never dreamed you could make. This is the power and the promise of full-throttle faith, of living a life fuelled solely by God.”

Bill Hybels – The Power of a Whisper (p252/253)

Now for the application…

2 responses to “Sacrifice seems to require a cost”

  1. Helen says:

    whoa! Challenging stuff indeed :o) I was listening to a sermon last week on Jesus getting into Simon Peter boat to preach at little offshore and then telling him to put out into deeper waters for a catch. We were being reminded that staying in the shallow waters with Jesus in the boat, altjhough good because it makes us feel useful, allowing him to take complete authority over our situation, where we believe we know best is another thing altogether. Following his command when he sends us out into deep waters and it doesn’t make any sense, takes some guts. You are so right, I know sacrifice is what God calls us to and it looks so good when you see it in someone else, you want it too but ask me to put my money where my mouth is and I too am likely to run in the other direction!

    Sorry if this appears a bit random, but just came across your blog and it awesome, so had to say something. Don’t know if you’ll remember me, but its Helen from the pastoral course we did in November. Your heart for God is so inspiring James and although you don’t know it, I still feel challanged by some of the chat we had that week. Keep on seeking him in all that you do, ‘Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.’

  2. James says:

    Thanks lots Helen, a little encouragement can go a long way! Really appreciate it.

    That pastoral course was so good, intense yes but it left a load of stuff with me… was so insightful, i’m still processing much from it.

    Yeah the whole relinquishing control and letting go of stuffs so big time tough… but screams promises of freedom… just a shame sanctification can so often seem so slow and that surrenders something we’ll never fully master! Bring on heaven :P

    Hope stuffs good with you!

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