IMAGINE: A Loving God (Love Requires A Response)
Loving God Means Sacrificing Self
Romans 12:1; Matthew 16:24
As I write this, I am sitting at my favorite thinking/writing place. I’m sipping my favorite beverage (Diet Mountain Dew) and I just at a perfectly cooked burger. This evening, I have denied myself nothing. And, as I pondered this day, a thought came to me that I want to share with you. As I have denied myself nothing, nothing of significance as happened. And it leaves me know of…sick to my stomach.
Just as the burger will not satisfy my hunger for very long, serving of self is an empty, unsatisfying, and insignificant way to live. I don’t know about you (and I pray it for your life), but I want this life to have significance. Jesus calls the significant life a life of self-sacrifice.
Every day during Jesus’ ministry, he lived significantly. How did he do it? He sacrificed his agenda for God’s agenda. He lived for the fullness of God’s purpose above his own. He taught it this way: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” The cross was a sign of sacrifice to all in that day. Today he might says, “If anyone will come after, take your time management organizer and burn it, then follow my way of life.” OUCH!!
Some of us cringe at that thought. The apostle Paul put it this way: “…offer your bodies as living sacrifices…” Do you know the problem with a living sacrifice? It crawls off of the altar. Self-sacrifice means that we ask God to reveal the things our lives that must go in order to make Him more prevalent, then willingly respond, no matter the cost.
When Jesus responded to God’s will by dying for our sins on the cross, God raised him up by the power of the Holy Spirit and gave him the name above all names. Just think what will happen in our lives as we allow God’s agenda to prevail through self-sacrifice.
I IMAGINE my response to God today will be…