Posts Tagged ‘sacrifice’

  

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭23‬ NIV)

In 1821, a young Louis Braille heard an address at his school, the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, given by Captain Charles Barbier, a retired army captain. Barbier had been inspired to create a system of page bumps for soldiers to read and write messages in the dark of night. Unfortunately for Barbier, his dot system was clunky, the French language had too many symbols for him to effectively translate, and the army didn’t seem to be interested in it. 

Frustrated with the embossed lettering system at his school, 13-year-old Braille certainly was interested in the dot system, and he soon began working to make it better. Reports suggest that Louis devoted all his spare and vacation time towards this goal, over a period of two to three years! His sacrifice was worth it, creating a better way for blind individuals to learn and live, and all while still a teen!

The cornerstone of Christian living is the sacrifice of personal ambition to accomplish the greater works of God. While this may seem harsh or unjust to some, remember that God thinks and sees much better than we do, with better ends in mind! Walk daily with your cross of sacrifice! It will lead you to touching lives wherever you go! You are loved! 

  

“Honor your father and…then you will live a long, full life…” (Exodus‬ ‭20‬:‭12‬ NLT)

Mikhail Abrosimov and his family were fast asleep when a fire broke out in their apartment in the west side of Moscow in late January 2015. A Christmas tree, decorated with fairy lights fell, causing a short circuit, which led to the fire. He awoke to find the smoky blaze but couldn’t contain it.

After getting the rest of the family out, Abrosimov returned for his 4-year old son, only to find their escape route cut off. So, in heroic fashion, Dad used his body as an airbag for the child and leaped out the window – 7 floors above the ground! While both were in critical condition for quite some time afterwards and the family lost everything they owned in the fire, the Abrosimov’s had the most important thing: Each Other!

Your Dad may not be a freefalling superhero, but hopefully he’s your hero nonetheless! Take time on this Father’s Day to share your appreciation for all the Dads and Father figures in your life. And if you’re the Dad, rejoice in those that gave you that honored distinction! We are loved today! Happy Father’s Day! 

  

“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!” (Psalms‬ ‭104‬:‭33‬ NLT)

George Dennehy was born without arms, but he plays guitar like a pro. How? The 18-year-old from Ashland, Virginia uses his feet! The gifted teen told in an interview that he eats, types and washes his hair with his feet, and he says he’s primarily right-footed. He also said, “I want it [music] to be my career. I have the opportunity to speak/play at different events or churches, you name it! I’m hoping big things will happen.” 

And according to the Huffington Post, Dennehy isn’t the only teen who hasn’t let physical challenges stop him from achieving his dreams. Fourteen-year-old athlete Coleman Shannon, whose right arm ends at his elbow, recently pitched a no-hitter against his neighboring Little League team. And in 2010, armless piano player Liu Wei became a hit on “China’s Got Talent” and achieved Internet fame. 

We tend to be a society and people who are afraid to live or try because of failure, yet we are surrounded every day by those who take chances because they have to just to survive. Be one that achieves life instead of slumping towards existence! Live the vibrant life God gives! You are loved without excuse! 

  

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs‬ ‭17‬:‭17‬ NKJV)

Dusty Bernier and Brian Huddleston grew up as close friends. They attended the same church, hung out together, even married sisters! Now in their early 30’s, their relationship has spanned many years. But then Dustin’s kidneys began to shut down, threatening his very life.

When no matches could be found, Brian, on a whim, decided to see if he was compatible. And sure enough, he was! And so yesterday morning, at a hospital in San Antonio, Texas, Brian gave life and hope to his best friend, Dustin, by giving him a kidney. You could almost say that their relationship was made for just this moment!

Decide today to be that kind of friend. Many will give to a certain point, but a true friend and brother/sister gives all that they have, all because of love. And say a special prayer for Dustin and Brian, that as they heal quickly, their lives and their story will continue to bless others! You are loved today! Love back! 

  

“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

Last April, Mary Beth Sammons lost her job as a vice president for an Internet company where she made about $110,000 working 50 hours a week. Today, Sammons works more than 60 hours a week at two jobs — one at a preparatory high school and another for an online magazine — and is barely making $50,000. While Sammons, 52, would rather be working one job, as a single mother, with one child in college and another kid heading there, she said, “I take work wherever I can get it.”

Sacrifice suggests an action that must take place regardless of will or even against our preferred desire. As Christians, there are often times when we must sacrifice personal desire in order to achieve God’s desire for us. The hardest part is denying personal wants of the immediate, even though we know that God’s eventual accomplished plan works out even better for us. What must happen must happen. 

Be a person of sacrifice for what is right. Whether family or spiritual, some goals are definitely worth it. Do what you’ve got to do and you’ll see what you need to see! You are loved today! 

  

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.'” (Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭21‬ NKJV)

In the early 1930’s, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was so appalled at how many in the church capitulated to Hitler, blessing his evil doctrines that were “shaded” with religious tones, that he wrote a response, his manifesto entitled, The Cost of Discipleship. In it, he warned of “cheap grace”, the teaching that stresses that grace is free, so it really doesn’t matter how we live. There is no cost for holiness. 

As Jesus encountered one who had both riches and a hungry heart, Jesus made him choose. Was that cruel? Not really. But there can only be one Master, one passion, and it must be Him. It says Jesus loved him enough to offer discipleship, but the man didn’t love enough in return to sacrifice whatever it took to follow. 

Grace is freely given, but it isn’t freely kept. There is a cost to be a disciple. But the unsaid is that there is a GREATER cost for disobedience, one we pay later and with both present and eternal consequences. If everything has a cost, then choose the one that leads to life! You will find the price not so bad and the dividends out of this world! You are loved today!

  

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ NLT)

June of 1986 was when Jesus died for me. A rebellious Church kid, the raised-right child of solid Christian workers, I wanted so badly those things that were denied me. So, on the night that school got out for Summer Break, I went to a party and rejected God. As my Mom and brother carried me in the house, reeking of alcohol, smoke, mud, and vomit, too drunk to stand, I hit bottom. Jesus died to save me that night. 

Many moments of failure dot the rugged landscape of my life, just as it does yours. But that was the lowest. This Sunday, I’ll be dressed in a suit, sharing the love of Jesus from a pulpit to whoever will listen, having the privilege to be a rural church Pastor. But none of my part of the Christ Life would have happened had I not acknowledged my low state that night, realized how lost I was, and been willing to turn my failed life over to a Savior that wanted the best for me, not to beat me with condemnation. 

As you prepare your heart for this weekend that we celebrate God’s great love for a people that don’t deserve it, remember that you are loved. It’s a love that will never quit and will always be reaching for you. Life won’t get better as long as we are in charge, just splattered with new messes. Let God have your life now so that your new & better life can begin! You are loved! Happy Easter!