Religion versus Sacrifice

“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with You.”

2 Thessalonians 3:1

When our children were young, I truly felt that it was a necessary sacrifice to get them ready and go to church. Sunday mornings were hectic and Wednesday nights taking them away from their play was often like pulling teeth! But the sacrifice was worth it and now I can go when I want to, serve when I want to and give when my budget says I can. Ouch! I think God just pinched me!

I was reading one morning in “Principle-Centered Leadership” that one of Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins was Religion without Sacrifice. Religion is going to church because I’m supposed to, singing because the hymnal is open and serving because others will feel good towards me.

I started thinking about my current walk with God and I admit, I had to ask for forgiveness. I had allowed the world around me to determine when I “felt” like going to church and serving. I asked myself how much of my walk is “religion” and how much was “sacrificed” and I didn’t like the answer.

God saved me. Period. He didn’t save me to only go to church while my children were young so that they had a role model. He didn’t expect me to tithe only until the kids were old enough that they weren’t watching. And he didn’t say to serve just until I could choose for myself. He saved me, He called me, and He trusted me with His ministry here on earth. And I must fulfill that ministry.

There are people dying every day without Christ. There is no further hope for them. Who do I know that is dying without Christ and what am I doing to lead them to Him? Who is watching me? Am I praising God or complaining about the rain when I talk with others? What am I doing to encourage a joyful spirit brought about by worshipping God and letting Him control my emotions? Is it a sacrifice? You bet it is! Is it as great a sacrifice as Jesus gave?

Today, think about the difference between “religion” and “sacrifice” and let your prayers be that you are offering sacrifices to God and not attending religion.

May God bless you real good.

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