Summary: While it is natural to be a taker, God’s man is a giver. He understands that God is a generous giver who gave the ultimate sacrifice for all men.
Well, gentlemen, we are in the second of the nine attributes of a man. This week we’re looking at willing to sacrifice. And what it means to be willing to sacrifice in our life. Here’s just a couple of key verses that I think it’s crucial for us to key in on in regards to this. Because I believe that each one of these nine attributes we discover both things that Jesus did and he said. So I want to look at two key verses here.
Matthew 20, verse 28 reads, “Even as a son of man came not to be served – but to serve, and to give his life. A ransom for many. You see, Jesus Christ came to give his life as a sacrifice. But not only that. He says in John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this, than that someone lay down his life for his friends.” You see, Jesus never asked us to do anything that he wasn’t willing to do himself. And so today – attribute two, we must be willing to sacrifice.
Let me read to you this attribute, as we have defined it.
“A man is willing to make hard sacrifices. While it’s natural to be a taker, God’s man is a giver. He understands that God is a generous giver, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for all men. He believes that Christ’s sacrifice is the means of his salvation. But sacrifice is also the method of his sanctification. This attribute requires self-evaluation, radical priority, renewed positioning, an attitude that is willing, and a mindset that loses everything to win. That which is of real value.”
Wow. Are you, gentlemen – willing to sacrifice? When I read the Old Testament, I have to turn back to the first sacrifice in the Bible. And don’t you wonder what that was? What was the first sacrifice in the Bible? Well, of course, the very first sacrifice that appeared in the Bible, is one that God offered. Genesis 3, we see that God sacrifices an animal, to cover the sin and shame of Adam and Eve.
Yes, the first sacrifice in the Bible was offered by God, and it was a full body covering. The word there for covering is a word that’s very similar to that of a high priestly garment. It’s a complete body covering. And what I imagine God doing at this moment, is slaughtering an animal to cover Adam and Eve completely – and to cover over their sin, and their shame.
Now God does this because he is a giver. And he’s a generous giver. He does this to cover over our sin and shame because he now knows that we are living wildly out of control emotionally and mentally and spiritually. And we need something that comforts us in our insanity, for what we’ve done.
But it’s because God loves us. Now it doesn’t say in Genesis 3 what animal was slaughtered. But I wouldn’t put it past God to sacrifice a lamb. Because that imagery was going to carry forward for us for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. In fact, there are only two sacrifices offered by God in the Bible.
The first one was here in Genesis. The second one, well we know who that was. That was another lamb. It was the Lamb of God, his son. And not only was it the second sacrifice, but it was the last one. It was the last one that God would ever need to offer. And this wasn’t for a covering over of our sins. This was actually to remove sin from our lives.
And so we learn throughout the Bible, that God was willing to sacrifice. And that Jesus was willing to sacrifice. But we must learn what it means to sacrifice ourselves. Jesus teaches us how to do this. He shows us how to do this in Luke, chapter 14 verses 25 through 35.
It reads, “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said, ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life. Such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost, to see if you have enough money to complete it.'”
“‘For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it – everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build, but wasn’t able to finish.’ Or suppose a King is about to go to war against another King. Won’t he first set down and consider whether he is able with 10 000 men to oppose the one who is coming against him with 20 000? If he is not able – he will send a delegation, while the other is still a long way off – and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have, cannot be my disciple. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.'”