Sacrifice

His Sacrifice for Us

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This morning I spent some time reflecting on some of the work of Jesus on our behalf in Isaiah 53.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)

Take a few minutes to read and re-read this passage, then ponder these thoughts and questions:​

  • What Jesus did in His sacrifice on our behalf, was for our well-being and healing. What thanks and worship can you give Him for His work?
  • Reflect on some of the ways you have gone astray and turned to your own way. These indicators of our “iniquity” have fallen on Him. How can you honor Him for this sacrifice?

May each of us walk in a manner worthy of Him and the sacrifice He made on our behalf.

Maranatha
stacy_finalblack

Lavish Rewards

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A rich young ruler wanted to know how to invest his life. After some dialogue, “Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matt. 19:21-22)

The Twelve were shocked. “Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”

“Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. 19:27-28)

Unbelievable! The Twelve would sit on thrones in the new world judging the twelve tribes of Israel. What little cost to leave everything for this unbelievable reward and responsibility.

Jesus goes on to say, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” (Matt. 19:29)

This is an amazing passage. It provides great comfort and guidance for those who give resources for Kingdom causes and who sacrifice time and goals for the King.

Nothing we “give up” for the King will be unrewarding. On the contrary, we will be overwhelmed with the lavish rewards for our sacrifices.

Take a few minutes to reflect on this passage. What does the Spirit bring to your mind? What does the King want you to do for Him?

Maranatha

stacy_finalblack

Guest Post: Sacrifice

Guest post today from David Toth.
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Using the Gospels and focusing on Jesus Christ’s words in particular, I find one defining aspect that separates Biblical servanthood from other perspectives on servanthood. That one aspect is sacrifice. Jesus said:

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great  among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many [emphasis added].” (Matt. 20:25-28)

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Jesus uses himself as the example of one who serves by giving himself. There is no higher sacrifice than to give oneself. Therein lies the key to a biblical style of leadership and discipleship. One may have a fairly good  handle on the competencies required but biblical servant leadership does  not take place until the leader is giving himself/herself to others sacrificially, for the benefit of others and for the benefit of the mission.

Taking the sacrificial attitude of Jesus Christ is an intensely personal and painful step. It is also the step to freedom and joy. Apart from two thousand and some years, there is little difference between the world’s  expression of leadership then and now. Mostly, it flows from an  organization, a position, a person, where authority and power are used to promote one’s personal and/or corporate agenda with no or little concern for how others are used or worse, abused. Even in faith communities (local churches and Para-church organizations) the situation is not very different. Leaders in these organizations view themselves as servant leaders mostly because they try to be nice but within controlled contexts and/or during  allotted time slots and while using legalistic standards for accountability.

Biblical sacrifice calls for one to “give his life” for the benefit of others. Quite frankly, this is a personal struggle. I enjoy using my marginal time for my personal pursuits. Using a portion of that time for others, a  sacrificial portion that painfully detracts from pursuing personal pleasure, is not easy. Jesus, known as the suffering servant, showed the way by  giving himself for others. This is how the Gospel gets into the picture. The cross was the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but it was neither surprising nor unexpected. He started out giving himself to others without regard for other pursuits, then his sacrificial attitude and lifestyle reached  a crescendo at Calvary.

As we engage in leadership development and discipleship, how is Jesus’ sacrificial attitude expressed in our lifestyle? Do we give ourselves sacrificially to others for their benefit? Do we find joy seeing others grow and go beyond us? When someone experiences true sacrificial leadership  and/or disciple making, transformation takes place more quickly and  deeply. And that brings great joy to us, to our disciples, and to the Father!

Serving Him,
David Toth

Examples of Sacrifice

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Over the weeks and months of praying through these Prayer Updates, one can see clear examples of sacrifice. What our brother and sisters in Africa go through to minister – the dangers, threats, sicknesses, hardships, limited resources and humanly impossible goals – would put most of us Westerners under. Yet they minister in faithfulness and joy. I regularly marvel at what they do and how the Lord uses them.

Then there are others in different parts of the world who face physical limitations yet continue ministry anyway. We pray for their recovery and while waiting, they continue and God continues to use them. I am astounded at the grace the Lord gives them.

Perhaps to put it in other words, these men and women are my heroes. They do what I could not do. They live in ways I could not. They see the work of the Lord in amazing ways. They overcome barriers I could not imagine. They have open doors of ministry that are astounding.

Humbly,
Stacy