Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
Suffering (Part 22)
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, 'It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.' Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
Hebrews 11:17-19 (NIV)
For us, God sacrificed His only Son: to see Him tortured and die on a Cross. For us, Christ sacrificed 33 years: to leave Heaven's throne for a straw-filled crib. For God, Abraham sacrificed Isaac: to pass faith's test and set up a pattern.
For Christ, people sacrificed everything: like their comforts and family at home; like wealth, careers and personal safety; like heartless religion and apathy. They left their before-Christ goals and patterns, even old friends and seductive habits.
Because the sacrifice of selfishness is the least we can do for our Savior. Once done, a much better life arises. Because how could our small-minded desires measure up to the Lord's expansive plans? Or how could our tiny acquisitions compare to His wonders in store for us?
It's like swapping teenage tunnel vision for the expectant faith of a small child: 'And He said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven' ' (Matthew 18:3).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Thank God you're willing to sacrifice a more normal job's security for the risky fields of media, even though familiar believers might denounce your unfamiliar walk. Because they've opted for what seems safe.
But nothing is safe outside of Christ. If we're not carrying our crosses and sacrificing our agendas to follow where Jesus is leading, to model our lifestyle after His, we're risking everything for nothing. So let's mutually encourage one another's sacrificial steps.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.