A Sacrifice or a Privilege?
C.T.Studd has said “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him”. I agree wholeheartedly. But I also agree with Dr. David Livingstone asking “If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?…People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege”.
I think we are once again looking at a paradox at its best.
For the world it might look like a huge sacrifice giving up some pleasures and the life style they love. But for the person who is answering God’s call it suddenly becomes the best thing ever happened to her/him. How is this possible? It’s not possible for us but it is possible for God! Self-preservation is the way of the world. Self-sacrifice is the way of God powered by the Holy Spirit.
Catherine Booth equips us this way: “Whatever the particular call is, the particular sacrifice God asks you to make, the particular cross He wishes you to embrace, whatever the particular path He wants you to tread, will you rise up, and say in your heart, ‘Yes, Lord, I accept it; I submit, I yield, I pledge myself to walk in that path, and to follow that Voice, and to trust Thee with the consequences’? Oh! but you say, ‘I don’t know what He will want next.’ No, none of us know that, but we know we shall be safe in His hands.”
Until we take the leap of faith to follow God’s calling we don’t know the blessings that are attached to the sacrifice we are about to make. It comes once again to trusting God and his promises. J.I. Packer encourages us to be radical for Christ: “Have you been holding back from a risky, costly course to which you know in your heart God has called you? Hold back no longer. Your God is faithful to you, and adequate for you. You will never need more than He can supply, and what He supplies, both materially and spiritually, will always be enough for the present”.
It sure is time to set aside our excuses. God does not plan bad things for us. Frederick Buechener’s famous quote underlines this, too: “the place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” It might seem like a sacrifice but it ends up being a privilege instead. It is indeed a honor and a privilege to serve God. Yet we are not doing it alone. We are powered by the Holy Spirit. Hence we can be bold like David Livingstone and say: “Without Christ, not one step; with Him, anywhere!”
We give you our excuses and fears.
Show us how you change them to boldness.
Show us how you change our sacrifices into blessings.
Give us courage to follow you no matter where you lead.
Show us how to life faithfully and fearlessly.
May thy will be done!
In Jesus’ name,
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you follow Christ into new adventures of faith. God is with you wherever you go!
Q4U: Have you experienced the paradox of sacrifice?
This post is part of One Word at a Time: Sacrifice Blog Carnival. Check out the other posts on sacrifice! Blessings!
Photo courtesy of Aleisha Knight
14 thoughts on “A Sacrifice or a Privilege?”
The sacrifice is a privilege – one he confers upon us, because we did — nothing. We deserve judgment and he gives us grace.
Amen, brother. Thank you for your comment, Glynn! Blessings!
So many great quotes in this post! Thank God for the wisdom of the saints.
Yes, I have experienced this paradox. All we give back to Him, He gave in the first place, along with grace upon grace upon grace. How can we not run to obedience? Thanks for a lovely post.
I liked your line: "It might seem like a sacrifice but it ends up being a privilege instead." God has given to us freely and we freely give back to Him with a willing heart.
Thank you so much, Jeanne! How can we not run to obedience? Indeed! God bless you!
Thank you, Hazel! It surely is a blessing to live and serve in God's grace! Abundant blessings to you!
What a great privilege it is to serve the Lord. Blessings
Thank you for your comment Ken! It sure is a great privilege to serve the Lord! Abundant blessings to you!
I love the quote by Beuchener (not sure I spelled that correctly). I have been in one type of ministry most of my life, but feel God is wanting me to make a change. I am waiting for a word from Him. Please pray I will hear that word from Him as I seek his face IN the WORD! Thank you:)
Thank you, Mimi, for your comment! I keep you in my prayers. God's peace & CLEAR guidance to you!
I loved your post. I don't think anyone would consider whatever we can give the Lord as a sacrifice compared to the sacrifice He did for us.
It is indeed a priviledge to do His will.
Thank you, Cris, for chiming in! Yes, our God is an awesome God and it sure is a great privilege to serve him. God bless you!
"God does not plan bad things for us." The simplicity of that statement caught my attention because the truth of it often goes unheeded. It's like I *know* that he has good things planned, but I something *feel* that the hard things aren't so good after all. I need more faith. Thanks for the encouragement to sacrifice.
Thank you, Lisa, for chiming in. There's never too much encouragement on our faith journeys. Abundant blessings to you, sister!