March 15, 2020

God is Self-Sacrifice

Introduction: How many of you have given up something for Lent (the time before Easter when we are more conscious of the sacrifice of Christ)? What did you give up? Has it been a real sacrifice for you? Most Americans live in abundance. Doing without is a difficult concept to wrap our minds and hearts around. The beauty of the Cross is the self-sacrificing character of God. What would the world look like if you and I were more self-sacrificing? The Love of the Father – 1 John 3:1 · Jesus graced the entire world through the self-sacrificing act of the Cross. God saw the consequences of the unstoppable force of sin and evil. · He gave the world the gift of grace if you choose to accept it. Like God – John 10:17-18 God is the greatest mind and heart our brains can imagine. · He left heaven to travel to a stinky, dung-filled stable. · He laid His life down to save us from the evil that wanted to steal, kill, and destroy. · Jesus voluntarily sacrificed Himself, so that you and I may have life and have it to the fullest. Self-sacrifice is choosing to do something that you did not have to do. · Letting go of something you did not have to give up. · Going someplace, saying something, or providing something you did not have to. We have been graced by God’s self-sacrifice. · Where and how can you and I exercise self-sacrifice toward the people God loves? Practical Steps This Week · Forgo a luxury, so that some of your resources can help someone else gain a necessity. · Lay down your pride or pain in some important relationship of your life. · Forgive someone who has wronged you; in doing so, you will never be more like God. · Lay aside your right to speak the wisdom you have, so that someone else can be heard. · Lay aside your desire to be served at home, church, or workplace and be more active at serving others. Amazingly, Jesus gave His life for His enemies in hope of making them His friends. · How about you? Weekly Questions: 1. When you think about self-sacrifice, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? 2. How could the challenges our society faces be solved if self-sacrifice was employed? 3. How can you be more self-sacrificing during this season of Lent?