VIDEO The Delight of Sacrifice – Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice

The Delight of Sacrifice

 

 

Once “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit,” we deliberately begin to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests and purposes in others’ lives (Romans 5:5). And Jesus has an interest in every individual person. We have no right in Christian service to be guided by our own interests and desires. In fact, this is one of the greatest tests of our relationship with Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, Jesus (see John 15:13). I don’t throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people. And I do this for no cause or purpose of my own. Paul spent his life for only one purpose— that he might win people to Jesus Christ. Paul always attracted people to his Lord, but never to himself. He said, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

When someone thinks that to develop a holy life he must always be alone with God, he is no longer of any use to others. This is like putting himself on a pedestal and isolating himself from the rest of society. Paul was a holy person, but wherever he went Jesus Christ was always allowed to help Himself to his life. Many of us are interested only in our own goals, and Jesus cannot help Himself to our lives. But if we are totally surrendered to Him, we have no goals of our own to serve. Paul said that he knew how to be a “doormat” without resenting it, because the motivation of his life was devotion to Jesus. We tend to be devoted, not to Jesus Christ, but to the things which allow us more spiritual freedom than total surrender to Him would allow. Freedom was not Paul’s motive at all. In fact, he stated, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren…” (Romans 9:3). Had Paul lost his ability to reason? Not at all! For someone who is in love, this is not an overstatement. And Paul was in love with Jesus Christ.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The sympathy which is reverent with what it cannot understand is worth its weight in gold.  Baffled to Fight Better, 69 L


How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice by John Piper

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Giving the Gift of Prayer

You help us by your prayers. 2 Corinthians 1:11

“I didn’t realize what a gift prayer was until my brother was sick and you all prayed for him. I cannot tell you what a comfort your prayers were!”

Laura had tears in her eyes as she thanked me for the prayers of the people in our church for her brother, who was facing a cancer diagnosis. She continued, “Your prayers have strengthened him in this difficult time and have been an encouragement to our entire family.”

Prayer is a gift to be shared.

One of the best ways to love others is to pray for them. Jesus is our ultimate example in this. The New Testament tells us about Jesus praying for others on many occasions, and even shows us that He continues to come to the Father on our behalf. Romans 8:34 says that He “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Even after showing such selfless love at the cross, the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ continues to express His care for us by praying for us at this very moment.

All around us are people who need us to follow Jesus’s example and love them with our prayers, inviting God’s help and intervention in their lives. We can ask God to help us pray for them, and He will! May our loving Lord strengthen us to generously give the gift of our prayers for others today.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for praying for me. Help me to serve You and others through faithfully praying today.

Submit your prayer request and pray for others at YourDailyBread.org.

Prayer is a gift to be shared.

By James Banks 

INSIGHT

Both the Spirit and the Son are interceding (praying) for us. The Spirit helps us when we don’t know how to pray, praying for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26–27). Likewise the Son is interceding for us from “the right hand of God” (v. 34). How wonderful to know that two of the three members of the Trinity are praying for us!

But what about the Father? It is the Father who calls us to be part of His family (vv. 29–30). It is out of His love for us that He sent His Son to die for our sins and then raised Him to life so that we would one day be glorified and given all things (vv. 32–33). It is in the love of God that the Spirit and the Son pray for us.

Since God’s love motivates prayers on our behalf, to whom can you show love by praying for them?

J.R. Hudberg

Are You Maintaining a Quiet Spirit?

Proverbs 26:4

When conflict arises, we oftentimes want to rush in and defend our position. Perhaps we even feel justified in blaming others. However, James 1:19 gives different advice for dealing with tension and disputes: “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” In other words, more can be accomplished through a calm approach to the situation. Scripture also suggests that we …

Pray. First, we should ask the Lord to guard our mouth and give us the right words to say (Luke 12:12). Also, we ought to request discernment with regard to the root issue and insight as to whether we might be at fault.

See with divine perspective. Our sovereign Lord works every situation for the believer’s benefit (Rom. 8:28). Not only does God use difficulties to teach us, but He also allows us to demonstrate the life of Christ by the way we respond.

Forgive. Even if someone has hurt us by causing the conflict, we should forgive. Jesus died to pardon all of our sin, and we, in turn, should forgive others. In fact, if we don’t, our lives will become burdened by resentment and broken relationships.

Respond. If we have done something wrong, we must apologize and ask forgiveness. We should express appreciation that the other person took time to share his concern. Then we ought to acknowledge his feelings and carefully consider his comments.

How do you respond to conflict? Pray for the strength to stay calm and do what is right­—even during difficult, emotional situations.

Are You Made in Christ?

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

The Greek word ginomai, translated “is made” in this verse, is most fascinating. It is rendered many different ways—“become,” etc., as well as “be made.” Most often it is simply translated “be.” It basically means “begin to be,” or “be caused to be.” It is even applied to the work of Christ in calling the universe into being. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). “Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).

It is frequently used also to denote the marvelous work of Christ in and on the believing Christian. As our text says, He becomes wisdom to us who lack wisdom; He is made our righteousness, although we were sinners; we who are unholy receive our sanctification in Him; and when we were lost, He became our redemption. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become [same word, ginomai] the sons of God” (John 1:12). All that Christ is, we are made through His great sacrifice for us.

Note some of the other things we are made in Christ, by His grace. We are “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We are “made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). “We are made partakers of Christ” and also “made partakers of the Holy Ghost” (Hebrews 3:14; 6:4).

In fact, when we receive Christ, old things pass away and “all things are become [same word] new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). These wonderful attributes are given to us and appropriated right now by faith and will be accomplished in full perfection when Christ returns and “we shall see him as he is” (John 3:2). HMM

The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity

“The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity.”

More than seventy years after Sheshbazzar had led the first exiles back to Jerusalem, according to the decree of Cyrus, the Lord stirred up Ezra, a priest, to conduct another company to the beloved city. Leaving all the ease and comfort of the land in which they dwelt, believing men and women joined together to return to the sacred place where their fathers had aforetime Worshipped the true God. The company started with the full sanction of Artaxerxes, the Persian king. Ezra, acting as his own historian, says—

Ezra 8:15-35

Ezra 8:15-17

Ezra felt that they must have the priests of the Lord with them. What can righteous men do without the ordinances of religion?

Ezra 8:18-21

He begins well who begins with prayer.

Ezra 8:22, 23

Prayer is both shield and sword. Faith in this case bore herself bravely in refusing to com- promise the honour of God by begging protection of the Persian king.

Ezra 8:31

He travels safely who has the Lord of Hosts for his convoy.

Ezra 8:32-34

Care should always be taken that all that belongs to the Lord’s house should be exactly accounted for.

Ezra 8:35

Thus with devout hearts they commenced a new and happy era for Jerusalem. Those who act with an eye to the glory of God shall receive honour at his hands.

 

My soul shall pray for Zion still,

While life or breath remains,

There my best friends, my kindred dwell,

There God, my Saviour reigns.

 

Worship and Work, Together

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 4:12)

I must take issue with those in the churches who insist that the worshiping saints do not get anything done but worship! Such an attitude reveals that they have not done their homework. The beautiful part of worship is that it prepares you and enables you to zero in on the important things that must be done for God.

Listen to me! Practically every great deed done in the church of Christ all the way back to the apostles was done by people blazing with the radiant worship of their God!

The great hospitals and the mental institutions have grown out of the hearts of worshiping and compassionate disciples. It is true, also, that wherever the church has come out of her lethargy and into the tides of revival and spiritual renewal, always the worshipers were back of it.

A survey of church history will prove that it was those who were the yearning worshipers who also became the great workers and the selfless servants. If we give ourselves to God’s call for worship, everyone will do more for the Savior than they are doing now!

 

Tender Comfort

“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” Isa. 66:13

A mother’s comfort! Ah, this is tenderness itself. How she enters into her child’s grief! How she presses him to her bosom, and tries to take all his sorrow into her own heart! He can tell her all, and she will sympathize as nobody else can. Of all comforters the child loves best his mother, and even full-grown men have found it so.

Does Jehovah condescend to act the mother’s part? This is goodness indeed. We readily perceive how He is a father; but will He be as a mother also? Does not this invite us to holy familiarity, to unreserved confidence, to sacred rest? When God Himself becomes “the Comforter” no anguish can long abide. Let us tell out our trouble, even though sobs and sighs should become our readiest utterance. He will not despise us for our tears; our mother did not. He will consider our weakness as she did, and He will put away our faults, only in a surer, safer way than our mother could do. We will not try to bear our grief alone: that would be unkind to one so gentle and so kind. Let us begin the day with our loving God, and wherefore should we not finish it in the same company, since mothers weary not of their children?

 

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