Loving Sacrifice

Do you consider yourself a sincere person? Are you a loving person? Do you love with sincerity? Are you willing to put those you love above yourselves? Are you willing to sacrifice for them? Do you honor those you love? Or, are you self-centered, only looking to your own wants?

God, through Jesus Christ, has called us to a higher standard. Jesus set the perfect example for us in love and self-sacrifice. Jesus shows us what it means to put others above ourselves. It wasn’t simply the fact He was crucified for us. It goes much further than that.

Let’s start with what many consider to be His first miracle. Jesus, a few of His disciples, and His mother were at a wedding. A potentially embarrassing situation arose—they ran out of wine. Jesus’ mother told Jesus and implied He should fix the problem. Jesus initially stated His time had not yet come but relented and turned water into wine. The embarrassment for the bride groom was avoided (John 2:1-12). Jesus put a friend’s need above His own desire to hold off performing miracles for a while longer.

We may say we would do such a thing, if we were put in that situation. Perhaps someone has been at a wedding reception where something was missing or running short and they went to get what was needed. I’m sure many of us would do such a favor for a friend.

Let’s take an example of something a little closer to home and far more common. What if we come across someone who is hungry? Are we willing to spend our money to buy food for them? I’m sure some of us would. Jesus provides another example when He feeds the five thousand in Matthew 14:13-21. You may say, “Well, He just performed another miracle.” That is true. Yet His disciples wanted to turn the people away. They wanted to send the people off to buy their own food. The disciples were unwilling to share what they had. They were unwilling to trust God to provide for them, if they were willing to give away what they had. Jesus did the opposite—He provided.

In another case, Peter is being pressured to pay the temple tax upon arrival in Capernaum. He doesn’t have the money and asks Jesus what to do. Jesus provides the money to bail out His friend. Sure, it is a miracle that He tells Peter to go fishing and get the coin from the mouth of the first fish he catches, but Jesus provides for Peter (Matthew 17:24-27). Notice that Peter would have known that Jesus didn’t have the money either, yet he went to Jesus to ask what to do about the tax. Also notice that Jesus saw the deeper, underlying question and likely panic Peter felt. Jesus loved His friend and provided for him.

I pray each of us will put others ahead of ourselves, especially our loved ones. I pray we give up our selfish desires as a sacrifice for others. I pray we all love with sincerity and show it to each other on a daily basis. Honor others. Put others above yourself. Do what is good. Love with sincerity. Trust God to provide.

Romans 12:9-12 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Published by martypressey

Marty is a Pastor, retired Marine and dedicated Christian who has taught adult Bible classes and preached for 20 years. He currently serves as pastor of 3 United Methodist Churches. He believes being well-grounded in the Scriptures is key to living a better life. He brings a layman’s viewpoint to all his classes and sermons, helping others understand how to apply Scripture to their daily lives. When he sees others understand the message of a particular passage, it brings him great joy. He has seen his faith increase exponentially over the years; fully believing God has a plan and is executing it. He feels blessed to be part of that plan.

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