Sacrifice, not Success
Ephesians 5:1, 2
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Christianity in the west has become somewhat of a club that you join or something that you add to your life to make it better, but when we look at Jesus call to follow Him, it means to take your life with its passions and desires, dreams and agendas and nail it to the cross, never to look back (Luke 9:23; 9:62). All that we are we surrender to Jesus so He may make us new and fill us with His life.
The early Church fathers and apostles were happy to be labeled “Christ’s slaves”, for they were bought by Him, owned by Him, and completely at His disposal. Whether He called them to live or die, it did not matter, for they were dead to themselves and living for the One who died for them and rose again (Galatians 2:20). It is imperative that we completely change our view of Christianity if we are to live and follow Jesus the way He intended. For it is when we die that we shall live.
Jesus’ whole life was lived for others and look at the impact He had on history. His 33 years of life shook the ages. We are called to imitate God and walk in love, so how did God love us? He laid down His life for us so that we could live; and now He calls us to follow Him, offering our bodies, our energy, our money, our breath, our hands and feet, our passions and desires as living sacrifices, so that others may know Him. This is a sweet smelling sacrifice to the God of all creation.
It is all so foreign to us who have it all, but we must grasp it, and quickly; For Jesus is returning soon, and He has commanded His Church to repent before He removes their candle stick from its place (Revelations 2:5). Reader, is your life still your own? Have you believed the lie that Jesus is there for your worldly success (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life, 1 John 2:15- 17)? No, it is sacrifice that He wants, so that all the world may know Him through your burning love for them. Worldly success is selfish, but sacrifice is selfless. God help us to live for you so that as our lives are poured out, others may drink freely from the river of life!
Love Jonathan Ball
Sacrifice, not Success