While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”! Over the next 9 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself. Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.
Here is day twenty-three with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to live a life of sacrifice.
Called To Sacrifice
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’“
Mark 8:34 (NIV)
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to a willingness to sacrifice? Why? Are there things in this life you have sacrificed for in order to have (i.e. car, house, vacation, relationship, etc.)? Why did you sacrifice? Was it worth it? Why? What determines your willingness to sacrifice and the extent to which you are willing to sacrifice? How does seeing a greater future value make you feel about giving up something that has a temporary value? Is there anything more valuable to you than an eternity with God?
I’ve not yet met anyone who has been able to have everything they wanted at no cost to them. Much of our life seems to be spent evaluating our priorities and determining what we’re willing to give up in order to have the things we really want. It is in relationship with God that we begin to see the true value of things and discover that giving up temporary treasures for that which is eternal is worth it no matter the cost. Jesus made it clear in His life and teaching that being His disciple came with a huge cost, yet denying self and dying with Christ yields an outcome that far surpasses the sacrifice of everything we have.
As you pray about being called to sacrifice, ask God to reveal to you anything which you still cling to that has become more important than Him. Pray that you would consider giving up everything you are and everything you have as being a small sacrifice compared to the surpassing riches of His glory. Pray for the courage to not only surrender the entirety of your life to Christ, but in that surrender to allow Him to use everything under your care for His purposes and glory.