1 Peter Ch1 v20: He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Even before God created the heavens and the earth He knew that He would have to sacrifice His only Son for our sins, but because God is a loving God He still created us with ‘free choice’ (we need to remember that we have free choice but the consequences from our choices we don’t always have a choice with).
We are readily willing to read the Bible and tell our ‘safe’ friends about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and the sacrifices His disciples and early Christians made for their faith but when He asks us to make a significant sacrifice we may sometimes procrastinate, come up with reasons why we cannot make that particular sacrifice. When in reality God’s not asking us to sacrifice our lives (not that should be an issue) but usually the sacrifice in question is related to time, material objects, career, friendship groups, families etc., all of which in the grand-scheme are insignificant to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and what awaits us post judgement day.
I remember a few years ago, the Lord asked me if I was prepared to be His plan ‘A’ or would He have to revert to plan ‘B’ and did I want to be a ‘history maker’. I remember replying “please be gentle”. As I start my journey in leading Church services I’m reminded by this challenge “am I going to be God’s plan ‘A’ today?” used for getting His message across (even if using a ‘direct’ approach ) or will He have to use someone else or another situation. I would like to point out that when I say ‘direct’ I call a spade-a-spade a club-a-club and I don’t dance around the proverbial bush.
It would be interesting for the Church to conduct a survey on who prayed asking God what ‘He’ wanted them to give up for lent. As society we can easily jump on the band wagon and give up chocolate, beer, crisps but maybe we need to consider this more seriously for it to mean anything. It can sometimes be amusing (but often frustrating) when people make a big deal that they’ve given up a,b,c and I ask them “did God ask you to give up a,b,c”? I then get the blank look after which I’ll suggest that maybe they could be needlessly giving something up when God may have wanted them to give up x, y, z, the sacrifice that ‘He’ wanted them to make.
When we give up luxury items for lent e.g. chocolate, when the temptation to grab that Kitkat arises, do we turn to God in prayer or do we substitute the chocolate for another form of a fix i.e. mints, crisps or fizzy drinks. I tend to think that the purpose behind lent is when temptation arises to turn to God and spend the time seeking Him.
When we are challenged by God and are reluctant to go forward with our sacrifice we need to remind ourselves that God sacrificed his only Son for our sins.
Thought for the week
What sacrifices are we prepared to make for his Kingdom?