Tag Archives: ultimate sacrifice

Empty Capsule

Every Saturday morning, I have the exciting task of filling my pill organizer for the week. This last time, I grabbed the capsules from one bottle only to find an empty capsule. The contents were missing. I stared at this finding and considered how it was no longer useful. The medicine that was to be contained in the capsule was missing. The capsule was empty, so it was worthless.

Sadly, too many people think of themselves as the empty capsule. Some people do not think they have the right ingredients within to make a difference. Some people think they are missing something that will make them special. Some people hear negativity so much it results in a feeling of worthlessness.

Fret not my friends. Though this empty capsule of mine got tossed in the trash, we live in a world where God’s math matters most. He takes each of us and does something great within. We simply need to let Him have His way in us. He placed things within you that you do not even know are there. He has given you the foundation to carry out the destiny He placed within your heart. He knows you by name, and He knows every hair on your head. You are priceless. 

Today, remember this truth. Remind yourself again tomorrow. The worth of something is always the price someone is willing to pay… and when we look at that math when it comes to our relationship with God, it doesn’t make sense at all. He paid the ultimate price—the very life of Christ Jesus—what a hefty price that points to your truth worth. God loves you. Oh, how He loves you!

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” – 1 John 4:16 [ESV]

Full Price

“But King David replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.’” – 1 Chronicles 21:24 [NIV]

Gad told David to build an altar to the Lord and David obeyed. When he approaches Araunah to ask for the site needed to build the altar, he insists on paying the full price for the area even though he was told to simply take it. David’s reason was that if he simply took the land without a cost, then it really was not a sacrifice.

A sacrifice should cost something or it does not mean much. If David took the area without sacrificing anything of his own, what would it mean to him? It would mean nothing. It would not have been his sacrifice, but Araunah’s sacrifice.

Today look at what sacrifices you make for the Lord. Are you actually making a sacrifice that means something to you? Remember the widow who gave all she had—that small amount was a big sacrifice in her situation. We should feel the sacrifice—do you? Remember that God paid the full price for you. No sacrifice was too much for Him to give.

Turn the Key

One thing that I always take notice to is my dog Max. He doesn’t let me stop knowing that he’s around, because he’s right here, right now. Everywhere I go, he follow me around. The thing about dogs is that they love you so much and they just aim to please. If I start to walk toward the door, there he is giving me the eyes hoping that I will take him with me for a car ride. He doesn’t even care where I am going, simply that he is with me. He just wants to be a part of my life.

God wants to be a part of our lives too. He’s with us wherever we go. He will meet us wherever we are at, just like the dog will meet us wherever we are at. It doesn’t matter if we are going through a tough time in our life. Even if we forgot to read our Bible and have neglected to make the right choices, there He is with us. It’s that kind of love — that constant being there– it shows how much God loves us.

Most know John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Can you imagine loving someone so much to give that ultimate sacrifice? I think of my dog when I come home after I left him, and how he looks at me with his cute brown eyes and wags his tail– he is so happy to see me. He doesn’t care about all those hours that I was away. He’s just so excited that I’m with him. That’s all he wants is for me to be with him.

That’s what God wants too. God gets so excited when you spend time with Him, when you take Him with you wherever you go, when you read His Word. Just like that dog who comes running to the door when the key is put in the door and you start turning it, and the dog jumps up to lick you in the face. In the same way, there’s rejoicing when you spend time with God and take that moment.

I don’t think we realize sometimes how much God loves us. I don’t think we understand that whenever we are turning the key (opening the Bible), how excited He is that we are inviting Him into our lives. He gave us our lives. All He asks is to be a part of it. That’s it. It sounds very easy but everyone makes it so hard. It’s not about a bunch of laws. It’s not about what this person or that person says. It’s simply about what God says. It’s actually not so difficult because He left us the great Comforter who can help us figure it out. It’s all about turning the key. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Christian Tight Belts

Some people do not know that I am attending an A.B.H.E. (Association for Biblical Education) approved university, majoring in Christian Ministries. I attended college when I graduated from high school, but life has various journeys; after ten years with a different career focus, I was given a new direction.

When I decided to answer the call and take the path before me, I slowly began telling people that I was returning to school. Most people accepted the news with open arms. Some wanted to know exactly what type of employment could be found with a degree from the university I attend. The university has many majors, all geared toward Christian education, ministry, and counseling. When I let one friend know this information, she gave me an unexpected answer. She said if and when there was a time when I would lead a church, she would attend.

It is certainly a great compliment to have someone say they would love to attend somewhere with your leadership. I was gracious with my response; however, as I pondered over what was said, I was concerned. She was putting her entire walk with God in my hands. She was basically saying she was going to sit outside the door, waiting till I came, and then enter. There are a few issues that trouble me. What if it takes me too long to enter the door? What if something happens prohibiting me from entering? What if I am directed in a different direction? Will she simply sit there, waiting, or will she enter? There is a big difference if we attempt to come to God with open arms, or if we are attached to someone along the way. God wants us all back, but He wants us to walk through the door. I don’t believe it is wrong to initially walk through the door with someone; however, one cannot sit in waiting, believing it is the only way.

I do not believe our God is scary. If people who haven’t read the Old Testament open that section up in their Bibles, they may say He is very scary. I will admit after reading some passages, I got the chills. However, if we read the Bible, truly read the Bible, it is very clear that God loves His children. With the situation with my friend, I do not believe it has anything to do with fearing the Old Testament God. She has experienced the Christian tight belts.

The Christian tight belts are those “Christians” who walk around with this belief of being higher above others. They have everything looking good on the outside. Clothing pressed and a sparkling smile. They are saved and therefore they are better. It’s like at the supermarket in the meat department. There is the 95% lean meat which is proudly displayed on the top shelf, and then there’s the 75% ground beef at the bottom. Everyone wants the lean meat, because they know it’s better, but some cannot afford the cost so it turns them away.

People are turned away by the 95% lean meat. People are also turned away by people who attend church and believe they deserve to earn a gold medal for it. As we all know, when we are saved, we are all on the same area of the plane. There is no first class and coach. No one is better than the next person. We are certainly supposed to shine the light to non-believers, and spread the Message. However, the Gospel is not to go out as a “I’m better than you because I know and have accepted this and you haven’t” type scenario.

Our God is compassionate. Our God sent His only Son to come redeem us from our shortcomings. If we look closely at each of our lives, we can all see the evidence of these fallen moments. Even after we accept Christ, they occur. As children of God, we are all family to the King. We are all precious. Remember, that the King came here to serve. The King gave the ultimate sacrifice. We, too, should serve as our Lord has left us a clear example. When we do that, when we show God’s love to others, the lean meat looks appealing. The lean meat is affordable, and doesn’t look to be too high up on the shelf.

Do not sit outside, waiting for someone to take you in the door. If you go to a church and you do not feel right, there are many more churches around the corner. While selecting a church, remember that Bible reading and prayer are important, and will help in the selection process.  If you have accepted Christ, do not believe for a second that you are above those who haven’t yet. They also have the invitation; it’s just taking them longer to R.S.V.P. Instead of pushing them away for putting the invitation to the side, perhaps you can show them God’s invitation by sharing your own journey.

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve; and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:43b-44 [NIV]