< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Making Great Sacrifices Part 4

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Making Great Sacrifices Part 4

Continuing my lesson from Chip Ingram's Book: Good to Great in God's Eyes: 10 Practices Great Christians Have in Common

Romans 12:1 – In view of God’s mercy. Our sacrifice in living a Christian life is a grateful response that acknowledges the worthiness of God for all He has done for us.

Romans 12:2 - We have to start living in God’s way first and then we will begin to learn how good it really is and what His will for us is. We first step out in faith and then God will “grow us.”

I read somewhere that “Real religion is to draw our strength from God in order to give it to others. Real religion means taking our own needs to God – not so we get peace and quiet and undisturbed comfort, but so that we may be enabled graciously, effectively and powerfully to meet the need of others.”

Are you doing anything for Christ, who did everything for you?

Chip explains how in Romans Paul lays out a logical progression of what happens. Chapters 1–3 show we all have a problem with sin, but God solved that thru the gift of Jesus on the cross. Chapters 4-5 talk about how to receive that gift by faith. Chapters 6-8 tell by how dying with Him one is raised with Him to new life and now lives in the power of His Spirit. Chapters 9 -11 answer the question of Israel – how salvation relates to the Hebrews. And then chapter 12 is “now what” In light of all that God has done – how does He want us to live.

He has unconditional love for us - Great Christians know they don’t have to earn God’s favor. We are unconditionally loved by Him. We can’t do anything to make Him love us more – or less!

Our sacrifice comes not from a sense of duty, but gratitude. God doesn’t look at the size of our gifts, but the size of our sacrifice.

Chips gives an example of a 10% tithe with different incomes – how someone who makes $20,000 and gives $2000 as a tithe is really giving a lot more than someone who makes $200,000 and gives away $20,000.

He says that for the one with the higher income 10% is a gift – not a sacrifice.

People who make great sacrifices don’t think they deserve special treatment or a great reward” they’re just doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Chip said “if you want to be a good Christian, sacrifice everything. If you want to be a great Christian, sacrifice everything with passion.”

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