Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven

As I continue to read about Abraham I am blown away by his faith and his willingness to sacrifice all to God.

Genesis 22:2 – Then God said, “Take your son, your only son. He is the one you love. Take Isaac. Go to Moriah. Give him to me there as a burnt offering. Sacrifice him on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

It does make you question your own faith, if God asked you to sacrifice your own child (highly improbable in this day and age!!) what would you do?  However there are sacrifices that God wants us to make some of which are really hard, things we have always done, lifestyle choices, possessions even friends or relationships that need to be addressed.  There are also smaller sacrifices, like how do we make time in this busy world to spend time with God in prayer and worship?  That may mean a sacrifice, making time for God is so important and if that means getting up half an hour earlier to be with God then it is so worth it.

Matthew 16:24 -Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

God made the ultimate sacrifice by sending Jesus to die for us, so I consider the sacrifices I have made in my life minor in comparison to his great gift to me.

Isaiah 53: 4-9 – Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?  For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

SACRIFICE

Sacrifice, that’s like giving up something I value for the sake of something even more important, to not relent in my investment in my salvation and in order to sacrifice I have to passionately believe in the outcome, to believe that Jesus overcame when he bore our pain and suffering, smothering us with a divine love, with healing grace the likes of which had never been seen and never will be again, he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our wickedness, yet there was no sin in him, no evil, no malicious intent, he was sent here by his Father, a living sacrifice so we could have life, God’s investment in Jesus a gift to us, releasing us from sin and shame, and Jesus named us as his children our lives pre-ordained in his book and that must be a hook, a magnet to draw you in to want to sacrifice in order to have a life built in Christ, to pray, forgive with humility, love with intensity, find time to spend with the most amazing deity and I for one want to pick up my cross and follow him who died for me, to sacrifice what I hold dear, to draw near and the more I give the more I find that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven and in the end I’ve learned it’s no sacrifice at all, more a reward for those called by God to draw near, spending time with God is time that is dear to me, precious moments of intense communication, cherished fellowship, me and God building a deep and personal relationship.

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