Summary: An Acceptable sacrifice begins with love. Do you love him?

Sacrifice, Our Christian Duty

Hebrews 13:7-16

December 1996

Sacrifice of Leaders

Charlotte was born of hearty stock an old Virginian family. Her brother would be a respected physician, and a sister would be also be a doctor, the first female doctor south of the Mason-Dixon line. She would serve as a medical missionary among the Arabs in Palestine. Charlotte however, would make the family name famous. Living in the late 1800’s was not an easy time for an independent single young lady, but she would not deterred by her sex. She was determined to demonstrate what God could do with a willing instrument. In 1873, she left for missionary service to the land of China. It was in this distant land that she, Charlotte Lottie Moon, would sacrifice her life.

After several years on the mission field loneliness and frustration had take a toll on Lottie, her old boy friend had proposed marriage. He had made an appealing offer for a lonely single woman. Her suitor, however, had been influenced strongly by German liberal scholars. Lottie found these unbiblical positions incompatible with her own devotion to the Lord and significant enough to end all plans of marriage. Had she been in love she was asked, "Yes, but God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result." Lottie’s faith demanded — required obedience and this sacrifice.

Lottie challenged the role of women on the mission field and a lack luster missions strategy that had produce fruitlessness. Because of her radical faith and desire to evangelize the people of China she drew harsh criticism. She knew there would be many obstacles preventing her from expanding her ministry. She knew it would be controversial and dangerous, yet she trusted God. Pioneer evangelism was extremely difficult work and she endured many trials. She heard the mocks of the natives as they screamed "devil" as she walked down the narrow village streets. The work was tiring and long.

Only after several long years did she begin to reach the people she had labored among. After 4 years God rewarded her. She wrote, "Surely there can be no deeper joy than that of saving souls." Lottie’s sacrificial work now affected thousands.

Great unrest later fell upon China, and Lottie was forced to leave her beloved China for a time. Outbreaks of the plague, smallpox, and famine devastated China. Lottie organized a relief service and pleaded for funds from the United States but none ever came. Lottie contributed from her personal funds and gave all that one person could give. All she had was now gone; money, strength, and health. She poured herself out like a drink offering.

In hopes of saving her life, her colleagues made arrangements for her return home, but it was to late. On Christmas Eve, 1912, one week after her seventy-second birthday Charlotte "Lottie" Moon died.

Lottie made many appeals for help. In one letter sh wrote "It is odd that a million Baptists of the South can furnish only three men for all China. Odd that with five hundred preachers in the state of Virginia, we must rely on a Presbyterian to fill a Baptist pulpit. I wonder how these things must look in heaven. They certainly look very queer in China . . ."

She sacrificed comfort, romance, the last of her savings, her pride, and her very life. What would cause a person to do such a thing?

Read Hebrews 13:7

Are you a Christian? Is Jesus your Lord? Then, remember your leaders those that have gone before us. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. What examples of faith we have before us. Read Hebrews 11:33-38.

Jesus Christ is still the same he has not changed, he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Sacrifice of God

Yet, if that is not enough to move us let us consider the sacrifice made by God. In Hebrews 10:10-12.

Oh, what a sacrifice, when Jesus died on the cross as an atonement for our sin. Oh, what manner of love the father has given unto us. This was a priceless sacrifice. God gave his all. John 3:16.

During December we once remembered that giving of that priceless gift, but no longer. Instead, even in our homes are the most expensive gifts those that go to our family and friends or God!

The letter to the Hebrews is written to some very Jewish Christians. For them Christian faith was simply an addition to their religion. It was really difficult to tell the difference between the Jew and Christian.

Is it difficult to tell who is the Christian with a glance under our trees, a examination of our checkbook or our credit card purchases, or the gaze of an observer at our service? Do our faithless neighbors live the same?

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