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Sacrifice: Loving Something More, Trusting God to Provide

Philippians 3

SCRIPTURE

Philippians 3:14-16, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet, indeed I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” (NKJV)

OBSERVATION

I often hear people talk of salvation as a free gift from God. It’s true. The forgiveness God gives is free. He has paid the debt we owe because of our sin. It was a debt we could never pay. He didn’t do this because we deserved it, but because we needed it and his love for us is so deep, so strong, so unconditional that he willingly sacrificed the life of his only son for you and me. Because of this sacrifice you have been or can be forgiven of the worst thing you’ve ever done. The good news is better than that, however. Because of his sacrifice you can be forgiven of the worst thing you haven’t done yet. This free gift of God is complete and comes with no strings attached.

I don’t know what this does in you. For me, I am humbled by the thought that God would do this for me. The sense of gratitude I feel toward God because of his gift is overwhelming. It creates in me a desire to give my life to him, for him, and to live in a way that honors him. I don’t do this in order to earn his favor. I already have that. I choose to live this way out of love for him. That’s when I realize, my salvation may be free, but following Christ will cost me something. It’s a price I am eager to pay.

In these verses Paul says something similar. At the beginning of the chapter Paul gives us his résumé and then tells us he’s given up all of that in order to pursue Christ. Becoming a Christ-follower cost him something. It wasn’t a price that was demanded. It was a price Paul willingly paid because of his desire to honor Christ. I think Paul would call it a sacrifice. I have two preferred definitions of sacrifice.

  1. Giving up something you love for the sake of something you love even more.
  2. Giving up more than you think you can afford and trusting God to provide.

APPLICATION

What has following Christ cost you? What sacrifices have you made in order to honor Christ with your life and your choices? If sacrifice means giving up something you love for the sake of something you love even more then what do your choices show that you really love? Is there something in your life you choose to follow or to pursue more than Christ? If so, you’ve found the thing you love more than him. You’ve sacrificed part of your relationship with him for that thing you chose instead. Is God leading you to give up more than you think you can afford? Paul was there. I’ve been there. Let me assure you, if God is asking you to give it God can be trusted to supply it, exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. Trust him.

Your salvation is free. Genuinely following Christ will likely cost you something. How far are you willing to go?

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for you for wiping the slate clean. Thank you for forgiving me of the worst thing I’ve ever done the worst thing I’ll ever do, and everything in between. Today, I want to follow you. I don’t want to run ahead of you or lag behind you. I simply want to go where you lead and do what honors you. Out of gratitude for your gift of grace I want to honor you with my choices even when doing so costs me something. I want to say, “costs me everything.” But I’m not sure I can keep that promise. So, give me the strength and endurance to keep my word, even when it costs me something…everything.

I love you, in Jesus name –
Chad

inGratitude: 31 Thankless Things We May Miss This November | Sacrifice

02 | Tonight I sat with more than 300 students and adults who will spend thousands of dollars and weeks, some months, of vacation in order to go to some of the most dangerous places on earth in order to meet a need, serve people and tell a story of hope.

Sacrifice – giving more than you think you can afford and trusting God to provide. I’m thankful for the heart of this next generation.

Generosity

What was the last generous thing you did for someone else? You know what I’m talking about, the kind of thing that cost you something and doesn’t seem to directly add value to you, but that greatly benefits someone else. What was it?

  • Did you leave a tip for a waiter that was greater than 18%?
  • Did you give $10 for a water straw?
  • Did you clean out your kids closet and donate the toys to charity?
  • Did you volunteer your time to help someone in need?
  • Did you stop to listen to the story of an anonymous stranger simply because, in that moment, they needed a sympathetic ear?

Generosity – giving out of the abundance of what God has given you.

It’s Christmas and as they say, “‘Tis the season!” Here’s the beautiful thing about generosity. True generosity benefits the one who receives and the one who gives.  No earth shattering revelation here.

  • The one who receives gets the value of the gift given.
  • The one who gives gets the satisfaction of serving someone else.

Generosity is a good thing.

God loves generous people. Proverbs says that some people never give anything and end up loosing it all while others spread what they have all around and keep getting more. It’s the difference between the generous person and the miser. God loves a cheerful giver.

But, in God’s economy, there are two standards of giving that are better than generosity.

  • Obedience
  • Sacrifice

Obedience is simply doing what God asks you to do because God asked you to do it. Sacrifice is giving up something you love for something you love even more. It’s giving more than you think you can afford and trusting God to provide.

Out of obedience we give our FIRST and our BEST to God. It’s another Proverb. Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”

Out of simple obedience to God I will give Him the FIRST of all I have. This is about money. But it’s also about time & talent. It’s about attitude. It’s about taking the first and best of who you are and giving it God.

Out of simple obedience to God I will give Him the BEST of all I have. Simple obedience doesn’t ask for just anything. God asks for your best. He’s not interested in your left overs. He’s not impressed with your abundance. All that you have He gave to you in the first place. He deserves your best. He wants your best.

Now here’s a common misconception. God doesn’t ask for your first or your best because He needs the money. He asks for your first and your best because you need to learn to give. Let’s be honest. We’re not exactly ‘givers’ by nature. It may be more blessed to give than receive, but I spend way more time fretting over my Christmas list than everyone else’s.  Genuine giving – the kind that is without grudge or remorse, the kind that comes with no expectation of getting something in return, the kind of giving that comes with no strings attached – that kind of giving has to be learned. How often has your generosity really cost you something? How often have you given with no strings attached?

God’s generosity toward you cost Him something. As a matter of fact God pushed beyond generosity to sacrifice. He gave His first and His best. He gave His only begotten son. Jesus became the sacrifice. He took the penalty for your sins and mine. God gave…Jesus was obedient, God was generous and the sacrifice was made. It’s the kind of gift that can never be repaid, but because of the gift I can choose to live my life a certain way. I can choose to live in a way that honors the gift I’ve been given.

So this Christmas season – in the midst of all the giving and receiving – don’t settle for simply being kind or generous. Push past generosity and give like Jesus gave. Give your FIRST and your BEST. Give out of the abundance of what God has given you, but don’t stop there. Give out of simple obedience. Give sacrificially – give more than you think you can afford and trust God to provide. Give up something you love for something you love even more.

This Christmas don’t stop with generous. Give your first and your best. Give out of simple obedience. Give sacrificially and discover God’s first and best for you.

God Bless,
Chad

The people of First Baptist Owasso are generous. Their mission and ministry meets needs in our community and around the world. They share the gospel and serve faithfully because they want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this generation. You can partner with us through giving. Click here to discover more.