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)