< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Good to Great – Making Great Sacrifices

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good to Great – Making Great Sacrifices

I’m back teaching from Chip Ingram’s book,Good to Great in God's Eyes: 10 Practices Great Christians Have in Common

This is from the chapter “Making Great Sacrifices.” As I do with all my lessons, I’ve pulled in other information from various other places of things I’ve learned and read along the way.

Jesus said in Luke 14:33, “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

I think that one statement is a big part of the reason some people don’t want to become Christians. It’s their biggest fear. That God will ask them to give up all the fun stuff, all their money, all their comfortable things. Maybe some of their friends and activities… They don’t turn their lives all the way over to God because they’re afraid He’s going to zero in on that one thing they really want to hang on to and ask them to get rid of it.

And He might.

But, God isn’t in the business of asking us to do things we hate. He designed each of us uniquely. He gave us interests and talents and passions and personalities that are perfect for us to use in the body of Christ for His purpose. And using those things, knowing you are square in the middle of God’s will is the best thing in the world. God’s will is never bad for us.

But, following Him does almost always require giving something up. Following Jesus, picking up the cross; means we do have to become selfless. That it won’t be all about me anymore. That we’ll put Him first – His plans - His kingdom. We are not a disciple if following Him isn’t our top priority. And that does require absolute sacrifice.

But, listen to this:

Mark 10:29 -30 - "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life”

What the non-believers don’t understand is – when they fall in love with Jesus – pleasing Him, living for Him – isn’t really a sacrifice. It will be something they want to do and something they enjoy doing.

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At 11:00 AM, Blogger Matt. said...

Philippians 3:8 (NIV) What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

The Spirit of Christ is indwelling within us. When we give up our will for the will of God, room is made free to receive the blessed promises that He has ensured we will gain.



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