Self Or Sacrifice
There is a mist rolling over this nation. Like a fog it’s rising to blind and hinder our ability to go forward. It’s creeping into our homes, our families and our churches. A subtle message aimed at stopping the Gospel in its tracks.
That subtle but deadly message is aimed at our very hearts. A message from our enemy not much different than the lie he told Eve in the garden; the belief that “I” is what matters; what God says, what His word says is right or wrong doesn’t matter as much as what I want to do or believe. What I want, what I think and what I feel has become our way of life. All you have to do is listen…you hear this message everywhere. It’s a mindset that promotes self over sacrifice, me over you and I over everything.
What is the definition of self?
Personal interest or advantage, one’s own interest or welfare.
At the birth of Christianity, to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel was the norm, the expected action of a disciple. It was not uncommon for people to sacrifice their very lives as martyrs for the Gospel.
The definition of sacrifice is:
Surrender of something, to suffer loss, to give up, to surrender something of value for the sake of something more valuable.
I would venture to say there is not much sacrifice being taught in our churches today. Every Sunday you can hear messages about being all you can be, be a better you, and a plethora of other self-help tips so “I” can have a better life, a bigger house and more money. With so little biblical knowledge most believers today do not have even a foundational understanding of the Kingdom of God and why we are even here. We are in a battle for mankind, a war to defeat evil and bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth when Jesus returns for his Bride. Our goal is not heaven when we die but to empty hell with the salvation of as many people as possible. Whether I drive a Bentley or have my own jet matters little if people don’t hear the Gospel.
We are constantly bombarded with commercials, articles and ads promoting self-help, self-care and self-improvement. These good sounding practices are a slippery slope intended to make “self” our focus. This is the basis of humanism: the outlook that attaches prime importance to the human rather than the divine.
Yes, take care of your body, exercise, eat right, go to counseling, get enough rest, fix your hair and makeup (please and thank you) but none of this should be our focus, the thing our lives are centered on. They have a place of importance only because we need these bodies to live on this planet.
Absolutely NOTHING about Christianity is about “me”. Jesus called us to lay down our lives for others, 1John 3:16 “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we ought to give up our lives for each other.” I find it interesting what the reference for this scripture is. It parallel’s John 3:16a…For God so loved the world that he GAVE…his ONLY son. God is showing us what love looks like…it looks like sacrifice.
Christianity is a belief system based on loving God and loving others. Jesus told us the greatest commandments were, Matthew 22:36-40 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' We are to place the needs of others above our own. Nowhere is scripture do we see where we are to think or act on behalf of self.
Imagine with me a world where this kind of love was being lived out. There would be no divorce, no wars, no famine and no hatred. Matthew 16:24 states, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, if anyone wishes to come to Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Taking up your cross necessitates the crucifixion of self.
If the enemy can keep us focused on self, he can keep us from the front line of the battle we are in. We will never pick up our weapons and fight but will be busy making sure we are happy and prosperous. We are in the closing moments of this age. There is no time to waste. We must wake up and smell the deception all around us.
God give us eyes to see, ears to hear and feet that will be willing to go and sacrifice ourselves taking the gospel to the lost.