Understanding the Power
Learning to let go is liberating, and is in fact, the place where we find our ultimate freedom as God's people. If we want God to use us for His work, the ultimate test of the Messiah's sacrifice is allowing His life to master our will. Then we will have the courage to take steps that follow our Master's life. If we want to become a weapon in his hand, we will have learned the power of sacrifice.
Sometimes we lack understanding of the power of sacrifice in our modern culture and the American way of life. Sacrifice is not in vogue today. What we call to sacrifice is carefully calculated expenditures to make sure the cost is not too high. This speaks not only of our money but also our time, reputation, personal life, goals, and aspirations. But sacrifice is a necessary baptism of fire for God's people.
Consider these words in I Samuel 7:9-10.“Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him. While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day, the LORD thundered with thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.” (1 Samuel 7:9-10)
When we talk of sacrificial giving, we talk about giving things out even when it is inconvenient. What does it cost us? Does it cost us our time, our budgets, our grip on our finances? After all, God sent His only Son to suffer and feel the thorns' piercings and nails. He endured the brutality of the Roman legion, let alone the rejection of His own people because they didn't recognize Him.
At the same time, God never forces us to give! Never will He take something from us that we are unwilling to yield to Him. Sacrifice is the ultimate Love Gift. Samuel was sacrificing to the Lord when the Philistines drew near. At that moment in time, Samuel knew the Philistines were already near. It won’t be convenient for him to sacrifice to the Lord because of the sound of war coming upon them. But again, there is no better time to sacrifice than when you're in a storm. He gave to the Lord at a sacrificial time. There is power in giving to the Lord when you are in a financial storm; when your family is in need; when circumstances say NO! There is power in sacrificing things and even ourselves to the Lord when it makes little sense.
True Measurement of Sacrifice
What Does it Cost?
God has set before us works to do – money is needed, your presence is needed, mostly your heart, and everything else follows. And so many other things God places at our disposal for the Kingdom. Why then do we hold them? Do we doubt God's power? Are we afraid that God will not take care of us? Are we in doubt that the God whom we serve is no longer the God of provision? Or, is He is not the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow? Perhaps we think that He is only the God of a few?
Beloved, the power of God is not to be doubted. During Samuel, God showed power when he thundered against the Philistines routed before the Israelites. God has shown His power in your life and through the years of your faith. If you have just come to faith, get ready for a life of miracles and divine intervention. Yes, problems will come up as mountains rise without notice. But as God routed the Philistines, so He will conquer your many mountains. How do I know? Because of the power of His sacrifice and the years of my walking with Him. Our life becomes a living demonstration of the manifest power and presence of the ONE who sacrificed His life for us.
David, the King of Israel, knew what sacrificing to God means. He challenged himself that he will never give to God what will cost him nothing. 2 Samuel 24:24, “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
Lesson # 1: In this brief devotional, the valuable takeaway is clear.
Something that comes at a price. Time, relationship, money, position, prestige, etc. God deserves YOUR best. After all He
sent His best to earth to die for us.
Lord, teach me to give all unto you, help me to be a sacrificial giver. When I give, let your power and love enable me, that I would glorify You. Lord, I don’t want to give my money alone, but I want to make myself available for You. Lord, I pray that by your grace and mercy, I will achieve these. Amen.