Sacrifice. This word has many meanings, but here are the two I’m thinking of today: “The act of offering the life of a person or animal to God” and “the act of giving up something to possibly gain something greater.”
The first one comes up a lot in the Bible.
Ephesians 5:1&2: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Hebrews 10:12&13: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.
These are obviously “the act of offering the life of a person God.” Jesus replaced the animal sacrifices – He covered all sin with one sacrifice, and defeated death at the same time! This got me to thinking about myself. He gave His life for me; what have I done for Him? What things of the world have I given up for Him?
For me personally, I was attracted to darkness and death, and some may have thought that I was weird for that, but I was somewhat okay with it at the time. A good friend of mine had a valid point: “Jesus defeated death; why are people (me included) glorifying death?” I touched on this in the post Halloween – A Christian Holiday…? that I posted back in October. (This is the part two I had in mind and am just now posting. 😉)
First Thessalonians 5:5: Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
It took years of stumbling in the darkness to see that I shouldn’t have been following my heart, but I should have been following Jesus instead.
First John 1:5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If God has no darkness in Him, then why was I allowing it to be in me? Why let something that Jesus defeated rule inside me?
John 12:35: Then Jesus said unto them, “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes.”
Once I realized how the darkness had come and surrounded me, I couldn’t find my way out of the abyss – until the Light found me and showed me the way out. I had no idea how lost in the dark I was until I made the resolution to stand in the Light. I thank Him every day for that, but sometimes, it’s not easy to stay out even though I know I should.
Matthew 5:14 – 16: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
But if we are the light of the world, then why was I smothering the Light in darkness? Clearly, I should have been letting the Light shine through me, like light shines through stained glass.
Romans 13:12: The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
The hardest thing was giving the darkness up for Jesus, because my heart didn’t want to give it up and put on the armor of Light. Jesus is the opposite of darkness and death; so after some Bible study, I realized that it wasn’t just a choice – I had to give this up and turn toward the Light, for Him. If He could give His life, then surely with Him by my side, I could give this up for Him.
Sacrifices are never easy, but in the end, He is worth it!