My Word of The Year 2017 was Responsibility and as if that wasn’t dreary enough, this year’s Word is Sacrifice.
Last weekend I was scheduled to serve as usher in church. I had the day planned out in the morning, then I watched Netflix longer than what I planned for, grew tired from lying on bed whole morning and decided to take a nap 10 minutes* before getting ready to go out. I snoozed till I either get up rightaway or missed my reporting time. I chose the latter, continued sleeping and woke up too late to report for duty but, to alleviate my guilt, made it to church. That day, one of the sermon’s key message was “The price you pay for worship will correspond with your breakthrough”
I have been coming to God asking “why am I not having the same level of intensity that I had for you?”. The problem is I come to Him whenever it’s convenient; the leftover of my time, when I’m waiting in line and had nothing to do, or when I’m bored. It cost me nothing to spend time with Him.
In 1 Chronicles 21:18-30 King David wanted to purchase a site to build an altar to the Lord. Araunah, the owner of the site, offered him for free yet King David replied:
“No I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”
King David (1 Chronicles 21:24)
Jesus died for us. He showed us the ultimate sacrifice out of His love. He doesn’t demand anything in return but His act of love caused my heart to stir and bring transformation to millions. That’s what a sacrifice can do.
What Sacrifice Isn’t
A sacrifice has to be sincere. It cannot come with strings attached. If you sacrifice something with the mindset of gaining something else, then that’s a bargain not a sacrifice. Lent is starting soon and we’ll hear many people giving up something till Easter. It is an admirable practice but I hope those sacrifices are not mere tradition or a “by the way” (e.g. I’ve been meaning to lose weight hence giving up sugar).
We sacrifice to set our heart right before God. When you love someone, don’t you want to spend time or buy gifts or write letter for that person even if you have to inconvenient yourself to drive to where he/she is, set aside time to shop, research on nice restaurants, etc? (P.S Valentine’s Day is coming – this is a hint how to treat your girl/boyfriend)
This year I want to learn to be a good lover of God; to give Him 1. My time – which could mean less time on Netflix, 2. My finances – not getting another pair of sneakers and giving to Mission Trip instead, 3. My attention – abiding in Him and listening. Stop treating Him as my Psychiatrist, 4. Myself.
This year may (you and) I learn to truly live a life of sacrifice unto the Lord.
*There’s no such thing as a 10 minute nap.