Being a Sacrifice

Day 4…

Sacrifice: Climb Onto the Altar

Genesis 22:8-9 (ESV)

Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

We are always talking about making sacrifices. Give up tv so we can spend more time with our families, pass on the dessert so we can drop a few pounds. These are what qualify sacrifices in America today. We all make sacrifices in one way or another.

But the challenge today isn’t about making sacrifices, it’s about being a sacrifice. Are you willing to give up who you are and want to be for God? And not just giving up your dreams and aspirations to seek God’s plan for your life. What if God asked you to give up the dream He planted in your life? Could you be the sacrifice?

As part of my message tonight I shared my initial feelings about the church merger and how much it frightened me, and also made me angry. I was living out the dream God placed in my heart, pastoring at a church and working with teenagers. And than the merger happened. I had to lay myself on the altar so that our body could move on to a place of growth and health. It was tough, there were bitter moments, it still isn’t always easy. But true sacrifice means you are the offering, not making an offering.

How committed are you? Can you give yourself to God until there is none of you left? Are you prepared to crawl on the altar and be the sacrifice so that others may hear of the love and saving power of Jesus? I end with this, we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in every way that we can and in some manners that only through God’s power can we accomplish. Jesus was the sacrifice so that we could be redeemed to the Father. Who do we think we are that we can deny being a sacrifice so that the lost can be found.

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Lost Heart or Heart for the Lost?

Day 2…

Lost: Parable of the Father’s Heart

Luke 19:10

For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.

God’s heart. We spend so much time discussing it, dissecting it, trying to fit it into a neat marketable and attractive package. For the most part we miss how simple it is: God, our Father, wants all of His children to return to Him. And even more so, He will stop at nothing, even the sacrifice of His own Son in pursuit of them. Luke 15 paints this picture for us.

The sheep, the coin, the prodigal son. All lost, all found, all a cause for celebration (ends with a party!). But until this weekend I always missed the other lost item in Luke 15… the son who stayed. He didn’t wander off, he hadn’t run away, but he no longer held to the heart of his father. He had become lost at home. Knowing the love his father had for his two sons, he should have gone after his brother, to return him safely to his father to be reconciled.

The church has become the brother who stayed. Everywhere I look I see people so caught up in working for the Father, that they have lost sight of His heart. As a whole, we spend more time chasing God’s blessings and prosperity, that we think that our physical gain and comfort is the whole reason for the Father’s love. And when we don’t get what we want, we see a lack of the Father’s love… just like the son who stayed.

Have you lost sight of the Father’s heart? Has your own life and personal comfort become more precious to you than the souls of the lost around the world? I don’t want to be the son who stayed, I don’t want to lose my Father’s heart for my brother. I want to be like the shepherd.