|Japanese Cherries (Sakuranbo) in Fukuoka Japan|
To be honest this is one of those passages I nod with my head, but in my heart I tend to cringe. The idea of living sacrificially isn't very appealing to be honest. In our fleshly way of thinking we see things short-sided and lack the perspective like Jesus had before enduring the suffering of the cross.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
But Jesus is LORD! He is awesome... I can't be like that. That is where I tend to be... It is very easy to take a back seat and only make sacrifices when we HAVE to.
But living as a sacrifice this is a whole new perspective! In the Old Testament times certain sacrifices were burnt offerings others were grain and some were drink poured out before the LORD. Most were typically shared as a meal not as a waste. When we sacrifice for His purpose it is never a waste.
So what does this mean living under the New Testament. Well I like to think that we pour ourselves into others. We look to invest ourselves and our resources in the Kingdom of God, essentially the people of God that He has put around us for a specific purpose. This lifestyle of putting others first and pouring our hearts into them is compatible with the people of the first church in Acts
44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
We see them sharing and living sacrificially not because they had to but because the LOVE of God was abiding in them.
Finally there is this wonderful example that Jesus gives us about sacrifice.
24Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
This is the exciting thing about living as a sacrifice. You don't know what kind of amazing impact you may have on the future. You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can't count the number of apples that can come from one seed!
Be Blessed and Multiply in His Name!