1. It is not a sacrifice if you have not willing given it up. Many people think that they are sacrificing for God if they are not driving a Cadillac, not living in the riches part of town, or not wearing the finest clothes. However, they are not able to have the best; so it is not a sacrifice to them, because they did not have the Cadillac to give up, they did not have the fine home to give up, and they did not give their money away.
2. If you fast because you do not have any food, it is not a fast: it is a condition. You are submitting to a condition, you are not sacrificing to get results.
3. It is not a sacrifice if there is no choice. People who have their Cadillac violently stolen are not sacrificing. People who have their Cadillac repossessed, are not sacrificing. People who sell their Cadillac because they are down sizing are not sacrificing. A sacrifice is when you can drive a Cadillac, but you choose to give it to a ___________ organization or charity. Sacrifice is a choice.
4. You cannot sacrifice what is not yours. When you volunteer your life to work at the church all day, it is not a sacrifice of time. When you give one thousand dollars to your church building fund from your company, it is not a sacrifice of money. When you give up the control of something that is yours so that you could no longer use it, for selfish purposes, then it is sacrifice.
5. You can never sacrifice what you have never had. If you have never been married, then you cannot give up married life for God. Also, if you have never had wealth, you cannot give up your money for God.
6. Nothing of spiritual significance comes without sacrifice. When we give to God out of our abundance, we are giving Him something that we will not use for ourselves. When Jesus saw the rich man giving money in the Temple He was not impressed. But when a poor widow gave all that she had, He was impressed with her sacrifice. “And He called unto him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:43-44).
7. Your spirituality will always be measured by the size of your sacrifice. It is not what you give to God that counts; it is what you have left. God is not impressed with the size of your gift, when it means nothing to you. When a millionaire gives a twenty-nine cent trinket to his niece and she expected more, she is not impressed with the gift. She was hoping for real peril earrings. However, if the millionaire gave the twenty-nine cent trinket that came from his grandmother and was precious because of who owned it, then the gift has meaning.
8. The meaning of sacrifice comes when you do not know what your gift will accomplish. When a prisoner of war has everything taken from him and is cast into prison; it is a needless sacrifice if he has loss faith in the war and his capture was the result of negligence or some other reason. Since sacrifice is choice, it involves a knowledgeable decision so that you know what you are doing.