Sacrifice for Gain

I think that some of the most compelling words of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount are found right here in Matthew 5:38-42:  38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

I believe that Jesus is calling His followers to a life of sacrifice; a life of setting aside their rights for the rights of others.  I am sure we can all come up with specific circumstances about which we cannot follow Jesus’ words.  If someone comes up to me today and asks me to give him my car, I’m not going to do it; unless I would feel very strongly that God wanted me to do it.  But the “exceptions” should not keep me from understanding and obeying the general guideline that Jesus is teaching.

But why is He calling us to such sacrifice, such a laying down of our rights for others?  I believe Jesus is calling us to sacrifice for others for the sake of the gain of the gospel.  As others understand our willingness to sacrifice, by faith trusting our God to take care of our needs, they become interested in the God who produces such a desire in us.  That is what this type of sacrifice is about.

Sure, we’re not going to give our house away.  But what if we went “above and beyond” what others expected or anticipated in the way of sacrifice and service?  We might lose some stuff and some time, but would we be playing a part in the kingdom of heaven gaining souls?


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