More on Sacrifice
Before we move to the next section in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount I wanted to spend a little bit more time on the idea of sacrifice. The martyred missionary, Jim Elliott, wrote in his journal, “He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” There is such wisdom in that sentence. It is reminiscent of Jesus’ words, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul.”
Jim Elliott’s quote goes to the core of sacrifice. Yes, the follower of Jesus is called to sacrifice…to the point of actually “costing” him/her something. The follower is called to give something…time, money, etc… But the follower is called to sacrifice that which he/she really cannot keep anyway. We cannot bankroll money for eternity. It goes away when we die; at least as far as it’s benefit to us. We cannot save time for use later. All time and money originate from God anyway. Yet, when we sacrifice time and money for the cause of the gospel, we actually “gain” things that we will never lose. We gain heavenly and eternal rewards. Now, I don’t claim to understand exactly how that “reward thing” works as far as heaven is concerned but I know that if God is in charge of the reward program I’m excited about it.
Our problem is that we hold on too tightly to the things that we have been given as if these things are really “ours”. They are not ours to keep, they are ours to give away. And it is a privilege to give our stuff and ourselves “away” for the glory of God.
By the way, if you are not a follower of Jesus, the money and time that you have are still gifts from God; you’re just not acknowledging that. And, like the follower of Jesus, those gifts have a pretty short expiration date. I hope you will consider what Jesus says and consider His claims on your life. Enter into a relationship with Him and begin to sacrifice those temporary gifts for eternal rewards.