THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SACRIFICE
The more we fall in love with Jesus, the more our hearts desire to make sacrifices for Him. This truth has been convicting my heart more and more each day. It’s a constant battle to choose reading the bible/time with Jesus over sleeping in and Netflixin’. Or staying in rather than going out and sharing the gospel with others. But in those moments where I gutsy up and just go at it, my days are sooo much better and my relationship with Jesus grows! And on the days where I’m not making sacrifices or investing in my relationship with Jesus…lets just say #TheStruggleIsReal BUT the #GraceIsGreater.
Check out what scripture says in Matthew 16:24-27, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”
So…still wanna follow Jesus? (hopefully the answer is yes!) Jesus warns his disciples that they have to deny themselves and turn away from the world and follow Him. As Jesus’ disciples, the same thing applies to us!
We can’t experience Jesus to the fullest if we aren’t willing to sacrifice our fleshly desires. We constantly have to surrender the temptations and the things of the World and follow Him.
How often do we leave everything behind and follow Jesus? What are you willing to leave behind to follow Jesus? What do you need to surrender to Him?
See, it’s easy to get caught up in the midst of our busy schedules or to just sit around and Netflix binge our favorite series than to spend time with our Savior. What if instead of spending time watching Netflix, browsing through social media, napping, etc. we spent that time with Jesus? What if instead of spending time worrying and being angry at Jesus we took a moment to thank and praise Him? What if we made more of an effort to go on a date with Jesus rather than trying to find someone to date?
Jesus doesn’t just want us on Sunday mornings/nights or for youth night or bible studies. He wants to be a part of our whole lives, not just parts of it. He wants it all and desires our hearts 24/7.
If you grew up in the church or have been to church just once, you’ve heard the story of the gospel. You know that Jesus died for us. But do you really know Jesus? I think we (Christ-followers) don’t always take this sacrifice serious enough. Because if we did, this world would be a lot different.
Jesus sacrificed everything for us. (Romans 8:32, Hebrews 9:28) He lived a perfect life- a life none of us will ever be able to live while we are on this earth. Jesus never discriminated others despite their race, gender, economic status, or sin. He healed the sick, ate with the sinners, showed forgiveness and grace to the prostitutes. He was good and he was faithful to his Father. And because of his love and affection for us, because he didn’t want us to suffer for our sin, because he wanted us to experience eternal life with him- He died for us.
During his death, he suffered for us. He hung from the cross crowned with thorns, and as nails pierced through his flesh. As his blood poured out, he was brutally beaten, mocked and humiliated by others, even those who once said they loved him. (Matthew 27:28-29) Why did Jesus do this for us, the sinners? Because He loves us. Oh how He loves us. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 5:6-8)
Making sacrifices for Jesus shouldn’t be something we check off our to-do list. It’s not a chore, it’s a choice. We make sacrifices to show Jesus that we love him and because of His sacrifice, we are made new in Him.
I encourage you to think about the things going in your life right now that take your eyes off of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 7:35) Whatever it is, I pray that you will have the courage ask God to give you the strength, faith, and boldness to walk away from those distractions so you can be fully focused on following Jesus and so you can walk with him instead of the world.
What are some things you’d like to sacrifice for Jesus this week? I would loooove to hear your answers in the comments below or feel free shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can be praying for you