Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sacrifice: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton





“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present you bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1 NIV).

With Lent in progress, I know many Christians give something up as a sacrifice during this time before Easter. For some people it is sugar, chocolate, goodies, TV time, Facebook time, just to name a few. It seems like a minor thing to give up something like this compared to the sacrifice that Jesus did for us on the cross. I would like to propose to you that you give up something more important than food or time spent with social media etc. I propose that you give up your time to help others in some way every day during the Lenten season and even beyond that time.  Some ideas of service can be calling someone who is sick, visiting a shut-in, sending cards to those who need encouragement, knitting something to give away to the homeless shelter, smiling at people wherever you go, helping people get their groceries out of their cart or into their car, or taking food to someone who is ill or is alone. These are just a few things you could do for others. The list is enormous. Each day is a new opportunity for you to show others God’s love in a real act of sacrifice.
It is so easy in this world of “It’s all about me” to forget that there are others around you who are suffering. Jesus’ ministry was one of giving to others. He told us to “treat people the same way you want them to treat you” (Matthew 7:12 NIV). It is so important to remember that we are here to be a servant to others. It is through our giving to others and compassion that people can see Jesus working through us. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV). By doing for others every day, you will be letting your light shine for the Lord.
There is another point to this: you are not to brag about what you have done for others. Jesus said, “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:3-4 NIV).
My challenge to you is to look for ways to help others every day and then do it. Pray and ask God to show you some need and then act on it. Everywhere you are, there are people who need encouragement.
You need to be the one to step up and care.
Dear Lord,
Help us to be the living example of Christ and encourage others as we prepare for Easter. The sacrifice that Jesus did for us on the cross cannot be taken lightly. Help us to sacrifice some of our time to help others. Help us to be your light to those who need hope.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen