Sacrificial Love

“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

Many Christians misconstrue the term, “sacrifice.” They conclude wrongly that to sacrifice is to do something you don’t want to do. “Because I’m sacrificial, I’ll do this for you, but I really do not want to.” This misses the point. The root of the term, “sacrifice”, involves an offering. The offering is freewill, something we want to do. Of course, some offerings in the Old Testament were required, but others, such as the Nazarite vow, were freewill as were many other offerings.

We as Christians need to adopt a lifestyle of sacrifice. As an offering to God, we offer ourselves to meet someone’s need. We step forward as a servant of God in order to demonstrate an act of love. Our acts of sacrifice model themselves on Christ’s own sacrifice. Christ did not reluctantly give His life for us:

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:18).

Paul reminded the Corinthians to participate in the offering willingly:

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

When God fills us with His love, He sweetens our service to Him and others. We may get tired and even frustrated in serving, but in our hearts we want to do something for God, so we endure much for His dear name.

Have we asked ourselves these questions lately?

1. “Lord, would you show me how I may serve you by serving someone today?”

2. Have we set the “commitment bar” too low? (I.e., do we flee when problems arise?)

3. Do we want to be used by God today?

Ask God to fill you with His love and grace. As a musician tunes an instrument, we need to tune our hearts each day so that the sound of our life does not ring off key. People should sense we have a God-given desire to serve them. Only God can impart that sort of love. We would be wise to ask Him for it.

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