Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sacrifice's Gifts

Sacrifice's Gifts

4th of July, Independence Day, independence, freedom, sacrifice. These are some of the things that you may be thinking about this time of year in America. And if you haven’t started thinking about these things…now is as good a time as ever!

One of the things that I have been thinking a lot about is sacrifice. America came with great sacrifice and there is still sacrifice today. While I was thinking of sacrifice, I wanted to know the definition. Here it is: sacrifice is to suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure, or destroy especially for an ideal, belief, or end. ( Wow! Isn’t that incredible?

Now you may have heard the quote, “Only two forces have ever died for you, Jesus Christ and the American soldier (Army, Navy, Etc…). Now of course there are many more people who have laid down their lives in sacrifice. Missionaries are some of those people. But for this month, we are going to focus on the two previous ones.

Recently I read a quote from Karen Kingsbury in her book, Ever After, it said, “Love is not possible without sacrifice and sacrifice is not possible without love”. That was a quote I had to read more than once, but I knew right away it is true and so remarkable.

The American soldier’s sacrifice comes from loving our country and the people in it. Through their sacrifice, they defend our freedom and liberties, such as freedom of religion. We may not have ever had to sacrifice in this way, but we enjoy the freedom their sacrifice brings for us.

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice comes from loving the whole world, everyone in it, you and me (John 3:16). In 1 John 2:2, it says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world”. The WHOLE World. WOW! I also looked up the word atoning and found it meant to make amends for an offense or a crime. Christ did that for us. He made amends for our sins. He paid the ultimate sacrifice, once for all of us, for you and for me (Hebrews 10:10). Again a sacrifice made by someone else gave us a gift, the gift of Salvation in this case.

The sacrifice of others has brought us precious gifts. The sacrifice of a soldier may have helped give you freedom; Christ's sacrifice has given you freedom in Him. They were given with no thought of if you deserved them, but through love. What is your response to these gifts?

One step farther…
Think about this verse: Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

By Mandy

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