Category Archives: sacrifice

Search me….

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 139:23-24

I hear the psalmist, on his knees, his hands held high while he lifts his head in this song… beating his chest, crying out to his creator in a longing passion. “Search me!” Throwing open the doors to his life, his soul, his everything. I can hear the desperation in his voice, his heart beating in his chest, his desire to be in a close relationship with his maker.

Totally expecting God to honor his plea. To find anything in him that is against God, so that he can confess it and be free. Clean before a Holy Lord. Made righteous by the work of a loving father. Having nothing to be ashamed of, but to be able to worship in spirit and in truth.

To be lead in the ways of the everlasting, to know, that through everything, he has significance and that his only desire is to follow after that which God laid out before him. To know that no matter what may happen, he is safe in his Father’s hands. To risk it all, and leave nothing behind. To rush into battle and to put his life on the line, because to live is a Godly thing, but to die, to lay down his life, in service to the King, there is no greater thing.

Father, may you find me on my knees, my hands lifted in praise to you, these words on my lips, and my heart open to you. Search me, oh my King. Search me.

By this…

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jn 13:34-35

Ever wonder why it is by loving one another that we will be known as His disciples? I do. I wonder out of all the things that we could be known for, why love for one another? Why not preaching, or witnessing, or the manner in which we present ourselves to others? Why not on church attendance, or devotion time, or prayer time? Why loving one another?

I think I have at least a partial answer.

Every now and again, I sit back and just watch people carry on in their normal fashion. Just observe the way they interact and carry on. One thing becomes abundantly clear very quickly. We are not a very ‘love one another’ king of people. More often then not, we are a very self centered, narcissistic people who can barely get out of our own way long enough to realize that there are other people in our lives.

Normally, we carry on with the attitude of getting one over on someone, or putting someone else down in order to make ourselves look or feel better. Our relationships with people are motivated on what that other person can bring into our life, our how can they make our life easier.

So rare is it to find someone who just cares.

Have you ever seen someone being compassionate toward another person and didn’t immediately bash that person? The guy on the TV asking you to help feed the hungry children in some third world country, or people who pack up stuff and go to impoverished places to help out how they can, or the person who hands $5 dollars to the guy on the side of the road who is holding his sign?

It’s easy to sit. It’s hard to walk. Christ called us to love one another, just as He loved us, so much so, that He gave up everything, including His life, to bring us back to Himself. If we are to be true followers of Christ, then shouldn’t we love each other with that very same compassion and zeal? Shouldn’t we look over the abundance of justification that we have and forgive the wrongs that others have done to us, to get out of our own way, and just to love one another?

Shouldn’t we really be more Christlike?

"That is why I have come."

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. – Mark 1:35-39

This verse follows right after a telling of how Jesus cast out demons, healed Peter’s mother-in-law and healed people. All that took place the day before. The next day, the disciples all go out looking for him and tell him that all these people are looking for him.

I have this scene in my head of Jesus looking up from his prayer time, still on his knees, staring into the faces of his disciples, all of them giddy with glee at the fact that they are part of this awesome gathering of people and are witnessing a powerful move of God, and when people come looking for Jesus to do more, they eagerly run out and start to look for him so he can do more of what he did yesterday. Do the miraculous.

How often do we go to Jesus looking for a dog and pony show. Heal me, do the miraculous, perform a trick for us, like a bunch of children watching a magician?

I love the response he gives. “Let’s go somewhere else.” Could you imagine the look on the disciples faces. From stunned to shocked to silent. Their thoughts probably the same as ours in that situation. “What do you mean somewhere else, do you see all the people here?”, to “But they came to see you, why not do a few things, and make sure that we can keep the numbers.”

Jesus’ response. “I came to preach, not show off. I want change lives, from the inside. I want people to know my Father in heaven. That’s why I came. Not to do magic tricks.” Now, I am not saying that all he did was magic tricks. I am saying, how often do we get caught up in the miracles of God, and not the work of God.

Spreading the gospel.

Like Jesus.

Greater love has no one than this…

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Jn 15:13

I hear this scripture used a lot in reference to Jesus dying on the cross. Somehow, we have read this verse and in our own minds we have taken it to mean that we have to physically die to show this kind of love. Although I will agree, dying for a friend is an awesome sacrifice, I think we completely miss out on the real meaning of this verse.

Think about this for a second, if I physically die, I only have to do that once. But the connotation that I believe Jesus was speaking about was dying daily to ourselves. If you look at the verses before and after this you start to see a much broader picture of what the idea he was conveying is. It’s about loving others more then yourself. It’s about putting others needs before your own desires.

It’s easy to die for someone, it’s much more difficult to live a life of humility and submission. But it is in that submitted life to God that we truly start to understand the real sacrifice of Jesus.

Think about it…