Sunday, April 24th, 2016
Bad Ideas (Part 25)
Don't Sacrifice Yourself!
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!'
But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'
Matthew 16:21-23 (NKJV)
Self-sacrifice is an unusual concept to the world. Yet men of conscience, Christian or not, can't help but admire it. Hence, we offer medals of honor and media tributes to some of our humble heroes, who have given much--or all.
'Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends' (John 15:13).
'Scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His Own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us' (Romans 5:7-8).
Therefore, if most non-believers respect acts of sacrifice, and if believers are commissioned to lives of sacrifice, how better can we witness the love of Jesus to all men? What possible reason can we give God to refuse His Word?
So when Christians say, 'Don't sacrifice your future to be a performer when so few people succeed. It's a foolish plan,' exactly what futures are they considering: man's or God's?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: a much more reasonable path is to accumulate, not sacrifice. Peter feared the loss of his Teacher, without perceiving God's bigger cause. I understand the great challenge not to assimilate the world's values.
Therein, most of earth's people today are working for accumulation: money, houses, nice things and respect--to care for themselves and their loved ones in all of the ways people think best.
But I beg you not to get confused. In God's system of security, in raising assets for your future, your deposits grow through sacrifice.
To Be Continued
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bad Ideas series.