nav-left cat-right
cat-right

No Sacrifice is too Great

“Loyalty to Christ, His Word, and His Church are inseparable. The Scriptures declare it. Examples in history confirm it. God’s purposes in the world demand it. Such loyalty begins with an irrevocable commitment and surrender to the claims of our sovereign Lord. This is necessary to becoming a loyal follower of Jesus Christ. To virtually everyone He called to discipleship, Jesus said*, ‘Follow me’ (Mark 1:17, NIV)*—a decisive act of the will to commit oneself in total loyalty. This commitment must be based on the knowledge of who He is.

He is Creator. He is Savior. He is coming King. He is worthy of our life, our love, our loyalty, because He is Lord! Perhaps our love is lukewarm, our obedience partial, our loyalty faltering because of our shallow appreciation of who calls us to follow Him. C. T. Studd, the heroic pioneer missionary to Africa, declared, ‘If Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice is too great for me to make for Him!'” (Donald E. Hoke).

Sacrifice of Praise

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” – Hebrews 13:15

Have you ever thought about what it means to continually offer up a sacrifice of praise? That word “sacrifice” means that it cost you something. It means doing something when you don’t feel like it. It’s when you say, “God, I’m hurting, but I give You praise.” “God, I’m lonely, but I give You praise.” “God, it wasn’t fair. They did me wrong, but I give You praise.”

When you praise God beyond your feelings, that’s when praise becomes your faith at work. That’s when praise becomes a weapon. Nothing gets God’s attention any more than when you call on Him in your time of trouble. When most people would become negative and bitter, you have a song of praise. You’re thanking God for who He is and what He will do in your life. You’re not talking about how big your problems are; you’re talking about how big your God is!

Today, understand that praise activates God’s power. He commands us to praise because it opens the door to His victory and blessing. No matter what is happening around you, worship Him! Declare His goodness and see His restoration in every area of your life!

Sacrifice

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the pastor slowly stood up, In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.

“A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.”

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story, “grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the other end of the life line. He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves.” “as the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’ he threw out the life line to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth “the father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son’s friend.” “How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us. Our heavenly father sacrificed his only begotten son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept his offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line he is throwing out to you in this service.”

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was a nice story,” politely stated one of them, but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied glancing down at his worn bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face. He once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today and to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up his son for me. You see… I was that father and your pastor is my son’s friend.”