This is it! Life is here! Live the dream!

Tuesday, July 14

The Biggest Sacrifice? And the 1st Church?

After studying the book of Acts and the missionaries in the New Testament I have learned that sacrifice should be a daily thing. God calls us to give our all in everything to serve Him. For example the apostle Paul was in Lystra just passing through and healing a cripple man. As a result the people wanted to sacrifice Paul and Barnabas because they thought they were gods but they managed to escape. "Then some Jews same from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. (Acts 14:19-20)" This is just an incredible example of sacrifice in many ways. Paul was an apostle, and his desire in life was to present the truth to everyone possible even if it meant to be stoned, beaten twice, put in prison, shipwrecked, almost froze to death and last we just read was left for dead. In verse 19, I just can't get over the fact that they thought he was dead, and left him. Then what does he do after that? Walks back into the city. Paul wanted to people to know about Jesus even if it meant that he had to be persecuted.

All the apostles suffered many things for the gospel of God's grace to be shared. As Jesus Christ last words to his disciples were to "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:18-20)" After Christ said these clear words of go and make churches all over the world, we then read what happened chronologically next. THE 1st CHURCHES as we read about in Acts. This has been incredible to read and study through my training in Peru and even memorize in Spanish to share with new believers. The 1st churches were planted only because of the sacrifice of the disciples desire to follow Christ command to us.
I think about my life of sacrifice over the past few months, and the extreme sacrifices I have made. I truly convinced that the biggest sacrifice is different for everyone because God has made us so differently. But the hardest thing for you to give up or force yourself to do is what the Lord wants because He wants your everything. Being a Christian should not be easy but a daily sacrifice to the our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:23-24 Paul says "I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Paul considers his life worth nothing? So he can finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus Christ as given Him. Well what was that task he wanted to finish? Well in Romans 1:1-17 Paul is explaining his calling and has a plan as an apostle. Paul says, "So that I may impart to you some spiritual gifts to make you strong- that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each others faith. I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both wise and the foolish. I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you. (Romans 1:11-12, 14-15)" Paul knew that he was called to share the gospel and nothing could stand in the way. He also says that "besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.(2 Corinthians 11:28)"

Paul knew that his whole life was a sacrifice to serve the Lord, and was willing to give it all up. Sometimes I think what do I value so much in life that maybe I need to give up to the Lord so I can be more focused on serving our Lord Jesus Christ. How can I serve Christ in a sacrificing lifestyle? If God called me give to up the most important thing to have someone else hear the gospel would I do it? Would you do it?