Sacrifice What You BearBro. David Chancellor
12/7/2003 11:00 AM
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
We usually think of sacrifice as something we give. Its being willing to bear some things for God. Christ bore some things for us and suffered the most difficult way a person could die, for our salvation. What are we willing to bear for God? Salvation has its unpleasant times as well as its good times. Living as a sacrifice is a reasonable service. When you look at all God provides, its a reasonable service to give your life back to him.
Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
This mother desired something for her sons. She wanted positions of importance in the great kingdom she was convinced that Jesus would have. She wanted the best for her sons. While they were seeking all these things, they werent seeking the opportunity to serve. Seek to do what God would accomplish in you. Jesus asked these, Are you able? Are you qualified to do what youre asking to do? These werent able, at this point, for a position of importance. These had confidence that they could handle it, but still didnt see the suffering and bearing that would be involved. Is your life such that God can use you? If youre going in your own strength, youre not yet able. It requires Gods help to be a living sacrifice.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
These werent able to receive what Paul wanted to give. There was something in them that prevented it. They were looking at things from the carnal mind. They were unable to bear what Paul had to offer. The carnal mind is a big hindrance to accomplishing the things of God. Its hard to present the gospel in all its clarity to people, because it often would overwhelm them. Can you bear the truth when its presented in a way that hurts? Can we see the help that comes in the hurt? If you would be a worker for Christ, you need to be able to be sweet even when youve been hurt. Youll need to be able to take it and still walk faithfully with God and work faithfully with the one who hurt you. We need to show forth the goodness and greatness of God regardless of how were treated.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Jesus couldnt give them some things because there was something lacking. We need Gods Spirit so that some things can be revealed to us. Gods Spirit can work in us to open up our understanding. Man goes through life with a mind focused on this life. The mind of Christ and the Spirit of God help us to focus on things of eternal importance. Food is a temporary thing. Feeding the hungry shows forth the love of Christ. Its using a temporary thing to accomplish a thing of eternal importance. Do we have an eternal view? You could do good deeds without Gods Spirit at work, to further your own cause. It takes the Spirit of God to reach out to others and to care for their souls.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
These needed something to be able to stand. Pressures will come upon you. People put you through some things. We dont always get to choose whom we get to associate with, especially if we go out and work. You need the armor and graces of God to be able to deal with it. The pressures can get pretty strong. Things are said to have an effect. You need the armor of God to help you. The armor of God isnt a tank. Youre still exposed in an extent. You can still interact with your fellowman. Our goal is to be a blessing and a help to others. We need the grace of God to lift him up before a lost world.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Theres some loss to be suffered. There are some things to miss out on for God. There may be people who dont want anything to do with you anymore. Paul suffered at the hands of those who had once been his friends. He, no doubt, prayed that God would take away those who opposed. Many Jews faced being disinherited to follow Christ. Are you ready to bear some things? A sacrifice is more than just giving. Are we willing to endure and to bear? Can we seek God for grace to help us to bear the unpleasant things? Will we let him use us, for the bearing, as well as the giving? Theres something for us to endure and to bear, but theres also grace from God to bear it.