Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)
TITLE: The Ultimate Sacrifice
By Sheila Lockhart
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Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice when he humbled himself on the cross and gave his life once, and for all to live an eternal life in Heaven,
Abraham sacrificed Issac and through his obedience, God spared Issac’s life by providing a ram in the bush.
Stephen sacrificed his life by becoming a martyr for Christ and yet not forsaking him.
So why is it one becomes selfish in their giving of their time and testimony to share the gospel with a lost and dying world?
Why is it that we, in our own selfishness, have become so caught up in this microwave generation, that we do not take the time in our services to truly worship the Lord in the beauty of his holiness, in spirit and in truth?
Why is it that through our own selfishness, our worship services have become scheduled programs and for a lack of better words, we have excused it as being, “decent and in order”?
Our selfishness has moved God out of our hearts, out of our mouths, and out of our church services.
Our selfishness has moved God out of our schools, out of our judicial system, and eventually off of our money, but yet we want to give satan the credit, not so. It is because we have not the time to contend with the issues.
Our selfishness has caused us to leave our first love and yet this has been prophesied in the bible.
I am not condemning because I myself am guilty also. We must come back to our first love and sacrifice our selves to him as he did for us. For through him we can do all things and with him all things are possible.
This is a season of God’s judgment and it is beginning in the house of the Lord. We must be accountable for every act, every service to him, and every idle word. Yes the latter year will be a glorious one, but we must first withstand the fire and the purification. No more playing church, God is looking for a pure and undefiled heart a clean vessel that is willing and obedient to be used by him to bring in the harvest.
We must evict the selfish spirit and go down into the trenches and pull out the gang banger, the prostitute, the drug addict, the drug dealer, the pimp, the homeless, the homosexual, and the unloved. We must be willing to embrace them and share our experience with them. We must let them know that even in their sin, God loves them unconditionally and that is why he has not yet come, because it is through his grace and mercy, that he is waiting for them to come to him.
“9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.
12Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
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