Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Sacrifice is not a dirty word but a blessed word to a true disciple. We all make commitments in our lives and in following Jesus. Sacrifice is going beyond our initial commitment to achieve success or to continue following Jesus. There is no success without sacrifice. It is an absolute necessity in following Jesus Luke 14:27. Another level of living is often only available through sacrifice.
Sacrifice is often the key issue to change unbelief to faith in our life. When Jesus’ disciples couldn’t get results for a man’s lunatic son in Matthew 17:14-21, He said it was because of their unbelief. Unbelief will leave the more we fellowship with God through prayer and His Word but that requires laying down more of our lives. In a sacrifice, something of value is surrendered to gain something of greater value. Christianity is built on that kind of sacrifice.
Solomon, King David’s son, is said to be the wisest man in the Old Testament. What many do not acknowledge is that God granted him wisdom after He saw his heart in the sacrifices he was making. God sees our love, devotion, and heart surrender in a sacrifice and it was the key to Solomon’s wisdom. “And Solomon loved the Lord…. a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and said, Ask what shall I give thee….” 1Kings 3:3-14.
Sacrifices speak beyond the years of our life. One notable example in the Gospels is the woman who sacrificed her precious oil to anoint Jesus. Jesus said what she did was a good work. Jesus said her sacrifice created a memory never to be forgotten, which we are talking about even until this day Matthew 26:7-13.
Sacrifices are even mentioned as having something to do with getting the attention of God and opening up doors of blessing. Cornelius’s sacrificial prayers and alms giving came up for a memorial (a memorandum/memo) before God (Acts 10:1-4) opening the door to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Gentiles in Acts 10:44. Not that we can pay for blessings but that God sees the devotion and seeking of the heart. He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him Hebrews 11:6. We know faith moves God and not our works to merit any blessing of grace but apparently, it is must be something done motivated by the obedience of our faith that God responds to.
We know that Scriptures use two examples of sacrifice to motivate generous giving in 2 Corinthians 8:1-9: The sacrificial example of the Macedonians and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. God’s grace will motivate us to sacrifice and God will use it as an example to motivate others. The sacrificial giving of ourselves in any area of life requires our lifestyle to be changed, our priorities to be arranged, and giving up something we love for something we love more.