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Revival Countdown - 2

 

Sacrifice...

 

Luke 9:23 says, "Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."  To be a true disciple, to be in close proximity and follow within speaking, hearing and seeing distance of Christ, it takes sacrifice.

 

I often wonder what it would have been like to follow in the pack that constantly surrounded Jesus.  As you read through the gospels, you soon find out that people were always around Him.  Most of them did so for reasons of need.  What would it have been like to be in the inner sanctum - with Him daily?  Watching Him eat, sleep, preach and communicate.  To talk to Him one on one.  WOW!  Now that would have been awesome.  He only chose a select few - 12 to be exact - to be in that close circle of friends.  Oh, to be one of those 12 men.  What an experience that would have been.

 

All of those men that followed Him left all: jobs, families, fortunes, lifestyles.  Because, remember, "The Son of Man has no place to lay His head".  He had no property yet He owned the cattle of a thousand hills.  He didn't own a boat though the waves were at His command.  He left no earthly inheritance yet He calls us to be joint-heirs with Him and all He owns in Heaven.  O, What a Savior.  What a friend we have in Jesus. 

 

Romans 8:29 says, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son..."  God's desire is that we be like Jesus.  Philippians 2:8 says, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."  To be like Christ involves being willing to sacrifice all now for something far greater and better later.  That's what Jesus was willing to do and He did.  Yes, sacrifice even our own lives here on earth in martyrdom if that's what He wants.

 

Let me give you a very innocent example so you can see where I'm going.  I remember years ago when I was very young going to a lot of Revivals.  We had them constantly.  Some revivals continued for weeks.  Once, here in Columbus at the First FWB Church where I'm from, we had a revival that ran for 11 weeks.  Every night at 7:30 p.m.  Service would last over an hour.  Many people were saved and rededicated their lives to Christ.  My mom would make me take my school homework to church with me (as many of the parents did) and I would sit in the pew beside mom doing my homework.  My wife and I did the same with our daughters on many occasions. 

 

When I think back on that, I realize that my mom and dad were teaching us what was important.  Hey, and it didn't hurt me a bit.  I actually did graduate high school and I can't help but believe that much of what was said in the sermons did sink in. 

 

I choose to do what is a priority even if it means a small sacrifice.  Following Christ demands sacrifice.  For most of us, the gas we use to attend the revival may not be a big deal but to some of you, it may be a sacrifice.  It may mean rearranging your schedule so you can participate and sacrificing a business deal, meeting or sale.  It may mean you'll have to put off an event or leisure activity. It may mean a game or performance is missed. Are you willing to sacrifice for Christ?  For this revival?  Take a moment to prayerfully look at your priority list and see what's important.  It is only then you will be able to make a sacrificial decision. 

 

Published Friday, October 21, 2011 9:12 AM by Pastor Bill
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