To what extend do we sacrfice for others? And for what purpose?

English: Icon of Jesus Christ

English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devotional Thought of the Day:

 16  This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others! 1 John 3:16 (TEV)

“there comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump a puddle for you…”

“But then I realize there is never going to be a day when I stand before God and He looks at me and says, ‘I wish you would have kept more for yourself.’ I’m confident that God will take care of me.” -David Platt

The above two quotes in black were on my facebook news feed this morning, one above the other. They contrast they set was incredible, as they look at relationships from different perspectives.

The first, while it is willing to make sacrifices, demands a “give and take” to a relationship.  That if I am to pour my love, my sacrifice, my all into a relationship, then I should be able to expect something in return. If there isn’t some return, then the relationship should be tossed aside and no more put into it.   It may not be demanding much, but it still demands, it still expects and it still will be disappointed, for such investments rarely pay off quickly, and sometime, never directly to the person who invested their all.

The second take a different tack, reminding us that the meaning of life isn’t found in our personal gain, our being valued.  It puts faith in the result of our investing our lives in the hands of God, not the hearts of others. It assumes that we might wonder whether this is all “worth it”.  It makes clear that suffering or denying ourselves so that others will benefit is the norm of life, for the norm of life is Christ.

This means using God given wisdom of course, knowing how to sacrifice that people will benefit, but it doesn’t mean that part of that calculation is our own pleasure, our own “fulfilment”. It assumes that fulfillment is found with Christ, on the cross, giving Himself for us, as John’s passage tells us, even as it encourages us to give our lives for others.  This sacrifice is for the same reason as Jesus’s – that they may know the love of God.

Don’t hesitate to live your life in ways investing God’s love into others.  Be there for them, encourage them, love them.  As Paul also wrote:

 1  Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2  I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3  Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4  And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. 5  The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: Philippians 2:1-5 (TEV)

Lord have mercy on us, and help us to love those you have brought into our lives. AMEN!

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on December 28, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. No matter what is given me, I’m responsible for what I give back.

  2. well said. * smiles*

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