Faith is a Journey of Sacrifice
To be a person of faith is to be a person familiar with sacrifice.
At this time of Lent we see that truth magnified in the life of our Savior. Jesus the Son of God came to save sinners and call them to repentance and forgiveness.
Jesus could have come as anyone yet He came as a carpenter in a small town that not many people thought was important. Jesus could have been a great and powerful politician or King, or a rich businessman yet He came as a teacher without a degree.
Our Heavenly Father in His wisdom looked down through the years of time and decided where and when and what His son Jesus should be. Our Heavenly Father decided that Jesus should be the sacrifice for the world. The Lamb of God. How difficult and heartbreaking that decision must have been for the Father?
We see a picture of it in our Bibles in the story of Abraham and Isaac.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,
7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
We hear this familiar Bible story and wonder how anyone could make such a sacrifice. God had not asked for human sacrifice until this time in human history. God was telling us that not even human sacrifice could wash away the sins of the world. Even though it was a great sacrifice for humans to make. But God wanted to see the extent to which we would go to seek peace and reconciliation with Him for our sins.
Our Heavenly Father witnessed the level of devotion of this one man Abraham and God was satisfied that the human heart was willing to surrender themselves and their loved ones if need be in order to have peace with God and restore their relationship.
Our Heavenly Father saw in Abraham the seed of faith that is sacrifice within human beings. Abraham was willing to trust his present and his future to God’s will. Even the future of his one and only son.
My friends have you come to that place of faith in your life yet?
Are you willing to trust God the Father with your present as well as the unknown future of your sons and daughters, your grandsons and granddaughters?
Have you surrendered them to God as sacrifices of faith?
Now I’m not saying you need to plan a BBQ like Abraham did. But you need to be willing to demonstrate your love for God to the full for your children and grandchildren by your commitment to sacrifice.
The good news is that our God does not want any of us to lay our children or grandchildren on the altar of sacrifice. Instead our Heavenly Father has provided the lamb just as He provided a ram for Abraham instead of sacrificing Isaac.
That lamb is Jesus and He is unique in all the world. Jesus is the Son of our Heavenly Father. Jesus is without sin of any kind. Jesus was born Holy and remains Holy to this day. Only a Holy sacrifice can wash away the sins of the world. If Jesus were just a man His death would profit us nothing. We would still be lost in our sins with no way to be saved. All we would have is a philosophy instead of a faith.
Our Heavenly Father proves Himself and His love for us His creation; greater than any kind of human love. In His wisdom God the Father sets God the Son on a task to save “whom so ever will” believe in the Son. John 3:16-17
When you look to Psalm 23 what do you see?
Though written by David it speaks of Jesus; David’s words describe for us the Great Shepherd who himself is willing to lay down His life for the sheep;
David tells us that the Lord is our shepherd and that we will never be in want as we follow Him. That Lord is Jesus.
Following Jesus leads to green pastures of safety and plenty. Beside the quiet waters. There the Lord restores my soul.
The Great Shepherd guides us towards righteousness all the path He leads for His name sake not ours.
Even though the valley of the shadow of death is a place we must cross there is no fear of evil for us. For Jesus is with us His rod to defend us and His staff to guide us comfort us.
Jesus sat at a table prepared for Him where even His enemy sat. We too sit in a world at God’s table of forgiveness while our enemies surround us.
But you dear ones are the anointed, you have been chosen by God to be set apart. Your cup overflows with blessings in this life and they overflow into the next life.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
This dear Saints was the path of faith that Jesus was called to travel for the sake of your soul and mine. It is the path we are to take up as we follow Him through these weeks of Lent realizing that this path leads to a cross of sacrifice. A tree grown by His Heavenly Father.
Like Isaac the Father put the wood upon the son and the son carries the burden to the place of sacrifice. There the sin of all the world that great haunting burden is laid down and overcome by the blood of the Lamb of God.
Let go your sins dear ones sacrifice them to the cross trust your familys future to Gods keeping