On this Veteran’s Day morning I sit and think of all those that I know who have put themselves in harm’s way for our/my continued freedom. I think of what they have done, the places they have gone and the things they have seen that have changed their lives, that have captured their childhood innocence. Some have been friends who have worked in and flown threw hot zones, war zones, contested conflict areas so we can continue to be free. On this Veteran’s Day, I think of them.
When I think of sacrifice, I think of…
A soldier willing to sacrifice self, safety, even life for the sake of life, liberty, and freedom for others.
An athlete willing to sacrifice time, energy, self for the good of the team
A firemen and a police officer willing to sacrifice safety and self to protect and save others.
The Savior, the Son of God, Jesus, who was willing to live and die and live again for us. A Living Sacrifice for the sins of a sinful people.
All, in one way or another, sacrificing self for others.
In the Bible, there are other references to sacrifice and sacrificing of self that may come across a little different, but are still referencing a sacrifice of self:
Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart
Psalm 141:2 - The sacrifice of prayer
Romans 12:1 - Offering our bodies as a living sacrifice
Philippians 4:18 - The sacrifice of giving to missions
Hebrews 13:15 - The sacrifice of praise
As a church going people, we are all too often willing to give something to God as long as it is convenient and doesn’t cost much (time, money, commitment, etc.)
All too often, we in our western culture and mindset don’t understand the meaning of sacrifice. “We know little,” as David Jeremiah so accurately states, “of the sacrifices of those who have preceded us or who are today suffering great privations for the Gospel.”
In our westernized mindset, we can’t quite comprehend the meaning of dying to self and living for Christ.... can’t quite understand what it means to serve God without thought of convenience or cost... sacrificing self for the sake of the cross.
Sacrifice - the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something with a higher claim.
Are we willing to be a living sacrifice for Christ... no matter the cost?
Thank you Veterans... No greater love than one willing to die for his friends.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.
But to those who do not believe,“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”
and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” - 1 Peter 2:4-10 NIV