Thursday, May 21, 2009

Love - Days 2 and 3 - Sacrifice

Remember the question from the beginning of the Challenge?

"Where does God draw the line between kindness and sacrifice?"

Last week seemed to focus on practicing kindness while this week of love has sacrifice woven into it. The Scripture that continues to roll around in my head isn't "love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18), but rather "Take your son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about" (Gen. 22:2).

I realize that at first glance, this sounds as if I'm feeling morbid or angry or persecuted. I'm not. What I am recognizing is that while we, as humans, recognize sacrifice as something terrible and painful, the act means something completely different to God. God wants us to be so willing to serve Him that we are willing to sacrifice what we most love.

Of course, we know the end of the Isaac sacrifice story. An angel appeared to Abraham on the mountain as Isaac was prepared to be sacrificed. The angel ordered him to stop and showed him the ram in the thicket. The ram was sacrificed instead of Isaac. God blessed Abraham and made him the father of many nations. Because Abraham was willing to go to any lengths to serve the Lord, the Lord gave him back what he loved and blessed him.

What does this mean for me in my small life? The only thing God holds dear is my love for Him. When I put God first, He will bless me.

I didn't realize it until I started typing this morning, but God has given me several lessons in sacrifice.

The baby just woke up and I need to attend her. I'll post more later.

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