Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Sacrificial Service God Requires

Scripture: Luke 14:27
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple

Insights: Gregory Frizzell wrote, “Rather than asking, ‘How can I serve this church,’ it is all about how can I be served.  Unfortunately, so many modern saints look for a church exactly the way they would a health club—they want one with the least cost and most benefits!  Often when the least thing becomes disagreeable, people immediately shop for another church.”  Frizzell is absolutely correct in his assessment of many western “believers” and it is in complete opposition to today’s verse.  Jesus’ audience would have known immediately that Jesus was calling them to be willing to die for their relationship with Him.  In so many ways we have dumbed down the seriousness of this verse by attributing our cross to being things of displeasure.  In other words, so and such is just my cross to bear.  This job is just my cross to bear.  The fact that I don’t have cable or satellite is my cross to bear.  These kinds of attitude cheapen the grace by which we were redeemed.  Our attitude ought to be that of the Apostle Paul when he wrote Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”  Before Christ Jesus entered into our lives and born us again (bad English, but good theology), we were DEAD.  Once His divine mercy was dispensed in us we became ALIVE.  So, now that we are alive in Jesus, we are living sacrifices.  The very next word Paul uses brings us to the heart of Jesus’ words here in verse 27—HOLY.  Holiness implies two concepts.  1.  We are separated FROM the world.  2.  We are separated FOR the work of service.  Jesus is calling us to put to death our sinful nature and to live sacrificially for Him.  Earlier in Romans Paul wrote, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (8:13).”  We can see that Jesus is calling us to a faith that is far greater than just mere church health club shopping.  He is calling for our death to sin and for our life in service.  Back in Romans 12:1 we were also told that if we live this kind of life, it is pleasing to God.  It also told us this kind of life is our worship to God.  Beloved, worship Him well.

  1. What sacrifice(s) is/are being required of you by God?
  2. How well are you worshipping God through this sacrifice?
Prayer: Lord, You are my Lord and You sacrificed Your very life for me.  I desire to worship You by being a living sacrifice.  Prompt my heart throughout the day as to how I can be pleasing to You.  Amen.  

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