Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

Sacrifice is tough, but Jesus didn’t say it would be easy.  He also doesn’t leave it to ordinary folks.

“We are the bride of Christ.”  Ever hear that phrase?  It is saying we, Christians, are Christ’s bride that He is going to present to His Father in heaven.  Now I personally don’t look good in a dress, especially a white one.  However, I digress, Christ sacrificed Himself for us and in relationships, that is what we are often called to do, sacrifice what we want for the ones we love.

John 10:11-16

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and, leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Sacrifice isn’t easy.  Giving up the things you want because you love someone else means an act of unselfishness, which we as humans are not prone to.  But here is the deal, what did Jesus sacrifice?  Well, for those who don’t know, He sacrificed His life for us.  He lived and died for us.  And that is what relationships are all about, living and dying for another person.

In John 15:13, Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  I personally have a lot of acquaintances, but not a lot of friends.  But the friends that I do have, I consider them ride or die.  I’d give up my life for them.  And for the one who has that single special place in my heart, she knows who she is, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her.  So I make conscious choices to do or not do certain things.

Sacrifice is tough, but Jesus didn’t say it would be easy.  He also doesn’t leave it to ordinary folks.  He left the ability to those truly empowered by His Holy Spirit to do it.  And the sacrifice cannot be made grudgingly, or in a way that breaks your heart, it should be made with joy.  You are following His example.  After all, He lost community with His people by saying He was the Christ, His family thought He was nuts for saying that as well, so He lost them, and He lost His life.  Think about all that the next time you become bitter about a sacrifice you make and realize, your sacrifice isn’t really that big compared to what He sacrificed for you.