The Delight of Sacrifice

February 24th, 2014 by JDVaughn Leave a reply »

I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls . . . —2 Corinthians 12:15


Once “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit,” we deliberately begin to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests and purposes in others’ lives (Romans 5:5). And Jesus has an interest in every individual person. We have no right in Christian service to be guided by our own interests and desires. In fact, this is one of the greatest tests of our relationship with Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, Jesus (see John 15:13). I don’t throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people. And I do this for no cause or purpose of my own. Paul spent his life for only one purpose— that he might win people to Jesus Christ. Paul always attracted people to his Lord, but never to himself. He said, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).When someone thinks that to develop a holy life he must always be alone with God, he is no longer of any use to others. This is like putting himself on a pedestal and isolating himself from the rest of society. Paul was a holy person, but wherever he went Jesus Christ was always allowed to help Himself to his life. Many of us are interested only in our own goals, and Jesus cannot help Himself to our lives. But if we are totally surrendered to Him, we have no goals of our own to serve. Paul said that he knew how to be a “doormat” without resenting it, because the motivation of his life was devotion to Jesus. We tend to be devoted, not to Jesus Christ, but to the things which allow us more spiritual freedom than total surrender to Him would allow. Freedom was not Paul’s motive at all. In fact, he stated, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren . . .” (Romans 9:3). Had Paul lost his ability to reason? Not at all! For someone who is in love, this is not an overstatement. And Paul was in love with Jesus Christ.

 

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Journal for Today-JDV

February 24, 2014

Lord, when you are close to me, (or should I say when I am close to you?) I seem to know instinctively how to live out your love. The open engagement of and for others seems to just flow out of me.  I don’t need to search for opportunities or Christian encounters; they simply present themselves.  Lord, when I am truly connected to You, life is effortless, and my circumstances do not sway me one way or another.  Help me be and stay connected to You this day.

And God says…” I came to give you life and life more abundantly.  All you need do is claim and live the abundant life. I have already provided the way.  Simply trust in Me with all your heart, do not rely on your own devices, and I will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the me and I will give you the desires of your heart.  Regardless of your status, circumstance or condition, reach out to connect with Me every morning, surrender your will, and your transformed abundant life will manifest itself in a myriad of ways. You will naturally impact others as you live the connected abundant daily life.”

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