Summary: Christ was the ultimate sacrifice.
Tonight we are kicking off our new series – “SACRIFICE” – sounds a little morbid for a back to school series, even to me … but here’s where we are at!
Tough topic … so let’s start with a little fun … Things You Don’t Want to Hear During Surgery
•Better save that. We’ll need it for the autopsy.
•Someone call the janitor. We’re going to need a mop.
•Bo! Bo! Come back with that! Bad dog!
•Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what’s that?
•Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived 500ml of this stuff before?
•Sterile, shcmerile. The floor’s clean, right?
•OK, now take a picture from this angle. This is truly a freak of nature.
•And now we remove the subject’s brain and place it in the body of the ape.
•Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness.
What do you think of when you hear the word SACRIFICE? What images come into your mind?
Two things really pop in my head …
1.The Cross – I think that is the ultimate picture of sacrifice … one man giving up his life to rescue a hurting world.
2.The First Responders – we are just a few days past 9/11’s 5 year anniversary … these firefighters, EMT’s and police officers gave up their lives to rescue people they didn’t love or even know from the collapsing twin towers!
SACRIFICE … it’s a word that has a lot of meaning!
sac•ri•fice n. Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.
And that is what Jesus did? His earthly life had great value … but he knew that restoring people into a right relationship with God had greater value … he saw things totally different then how we look at things!
We think SACRIFICE is probably about throwing a dollar to God … or … giving up a soda for a missions offering … or showing up for MSO …
Here’s what a few great people of God said about sacrifice …
•“To be a follower of the Crucified Christ means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.” - Elisabeth Elliot
•“O Lord, the only thing most of us know about sacrifice is how to spell the word!” - Jacob Stam.
•Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing. - John Henry Jowett
I want my life to ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING … I do not want to look back at the end of my life and think, “I would have … I should have … I could have …”
I want to say to God, “I did … I did … I did.”
My prayer for each of your lives is for YOU TO DO SOMETHING GREAT FOR GOD!
Christ’s example of SACRIFICE started with love and continues with love … he gave his all for each one of our lives …
Back to our text … Paul tells us to follow Christ’s example … what was his example:
•He lived a life filled with love for others
•He gave his life for those he loved
Paul attempts to motivate the church in Ephesus to follow Christ’s example … which he calls “sweet perfume” to God … and that’s what I want your life to become … a sweet perfume to God.
Stop and think for a minute … what holds you back from FULLY giving all to God?
Let me give you 3 PRINCIPLES OF SACRIFICE …
1. Sacrifice requires love
John 15:13-14: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (NASB)
Listen … you will not sacrifice anything for or to God if you do not really love him!
The greatest way to show love is through sacrifice … it’s a word I honestly do not like to hear … but one I must remind myself of everyday!
My love for God requires a sacrifice!
Christ would never have given his life if he did not love us … his love led him to sacrifice!
2. Sacrifice requires trust
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).
Sometimes, when God ask you to do something it is not going to make sense!
We have to trust that God has the ULTIMATE plan for our lives!
And if we trust in him, Proverbs tells us that everything will work out!
In my mind it does not make sense to TITHE 10% of my income … or give even more money to Speed the Light … or spend countless extra hours making this Student Ministry amazing … or helping out other churches for free!