Some of the last words stated in the letter of Hebrews are these: “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased,” (Hebrews 13:16). God desires people who are dedicated to Him in service, willing to make sacrifices in this life. Jesus said that He was seeking disciples willing to deny themselves, take up their cross on a daily basis and follow Him (Luke 9:23). As we scan the pages of Holy Writ, we see example after example of those who loved God and sacrificed self for His cause, imperfect, though, as they were. Where would men like Joshua, Daniel, Peter and Paul have been without dedication to God? How about women like Hannah, Ruth, and Ester? God is pleased with sacrifices – may we be challenged to think more about our dedication to God. Consider a few questions to help us measure our willingness to make sacrifices for our Lord:
- Am I truly more interested in spiritual matters than I am material matters? Do I really understand that this body of mine and the things of this world are only temporary? Paul begged the brethren in Colosse to, “seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth,” (Colossians 3:1-2). May I remember daily that I not looking at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen. The things that are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
- Am I willing to do more work for the Master? I want to remember that I have a Master who is in heaven and there is no partiality with Him (Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1). On the Lord’s Day, may we find nothing that would detach us from going to offer our heart-felt worship, offering to God the true worship that He seeks (John 4:23-24). Sacrifice other forms of entertainment, family gatherings, the overtime, the ballgame or other hobbies. Let us never be guilty of outright forsaking of the assembly (Hebrews 10:25). May we strive always to be those who are truly abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58), no matter the day of the week!
- Am I seeking always to know more about God’s grace and about my Savior? Peter commands this of me in 2 Peter 3:18. The more I know about God’s grace and about my Lord and Savior, the more I will seek to bring Him glory. The closer that relationship is, the harder it will be for the devil to drive a wedge in it. The more I know about God, the easier it will be to sacrifice whatever might be necessary in this life.
Friends, it is as the song says, “If heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?” In the end, God is pleased with sacrifice – doing good and sharing with others. Deny self and follow Jesus. Eternity is a long time to live with regrets, let’s offer God what is due Him and sacrifice all that is necessary to please Him!