Surrender – To give up or abandon
Sacrifice – a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil.
Today we talked about the day of Pentecost in my class. All but one child said that Jesus lived in their heart, and when I asked the child if he would like to ask Jesus to come live in his heart the reply cracked me up. “No”, he said, ” if he comes there I won’t have room for my four wheeler that kills the t-rex’s.” I tried very hard to explain to him what I meant, and that Jesus really wouldn’t take up any room, but it was useless. He NEEDED that four wheeler and nothing was going to change his mind.
Later on, I started thinking. That four wheeler was important to him. Even though we know that his reply was silly, it was serious to him. He couldn’t live without it. It was useful for him and his life would be difficult if he did not have it.
Thoughts of the previous weekend flooded into my heart. I had been quite stubborn about a situation. Actually, I was heartbroken over something I am very passionate about and I could not shake the frustration that crept in. This “item” is something I could not live without. Okay, I could, but knowing it the way I do, it would be difficult to give it up now. If I had never had it to begin with, maybe it would be easy – maybe. Back to my point . . .
Was I letting this take up room in my heart? Surely not! I use this to get closer to God. I find him in this!
Ah, but would I surrender it? Would I sacrifice my joy in it, for the greater good?
Hmmmmm. Now, I was struggling. Honestly, my answer was no. I could not say that I would just lay it down. I needed it.
But, I NEED my savior. I NEED his peace. I NEED his joy. I NEED his love. All these things can happen without my “item”.
I vow to no longer be an “item” hoarder. I will share my “item” in any way the Lord wants me to. I will use it to glorify him, even when I don’t understand why it’s being used in the manner that it is.
Christ did this very same thing when he died on the cross, was placed in a tomb and rose from the grave. He did not hoard his love for us. He did not hoard his blessings. Even though he struggled with how it had to happen, he let us “borrow” his body and blood. He is the living sacrifice!
And one day, I hope my little friend will let me borrow his four wheeler, so I can kill some t-rex’s of my own!
Romans 5:1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
3-5There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
9-11Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!