Week Three Devotion
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Pray: Lord, we confess that we often fall short of the invitation to count others as more significant than ourselves. We live self-referenced lives, often only thinking about ourselves and our needs — rarely about You and what pleases You, and rarely about other people and what would make their life better. Remind us that our time is not our own, and that our wills are not ultimate or superior. Help us to be interruptible as You – – were, Jesus — present to people, ready and willing to carry out the demands of our lives with love, joy, and peace. As You were humble, so we want to be. Help us. We know You are faithful to do so. Amen.
The ultimate example of sacrifice was Jesus — He gave His life. Not because it benefitted Him, but because He loves us. When God sent Jesus to live here on Earth as fully human and fully God, He expressed this deep love for us. Then, in His Word, He calls us to love one another as He loves us (John 13:34-35). Whoa! How does that work? Would I be willing to die for someone? Or would I be willing to even just feed someone? Taking our eyes off of ourselves and fixing them on Jesus is the answer (Hebrews 12:2). When we are focused on Jesus, His way becomes our way and things that seemed so important before, become less. We are willing to sacrifice knowing that God is bigger, and He has better for us and for those around us.
I can remember a time in my life where I held tightly to everything that I had because I had worked so hard for it, and no one was going to take it away. This also meant I was not allowing God’s blessings to flow. My fists were clenched tight on what was mine. It wasn’t until years later, and I was saved that I began to see His faithfulness. I came to Him with unclenched fists and watched Him move miraculously! If I am holding tightly to my will, my plan, my way, or my belongings, then I am only living within human possibilities, not God’s. Sacrifice is giving back what He allowed us to hold on to in the first place. Not only are we blessed in this giving back, but it is also for the sake of others. God has the big picture in mind, and we are a small piece of that puzzle. When I hold back, others may miss the blessing too. What we possess here on Earth is not the goal. An intimate relationship with God is the prize, our treasure, and all we will ever need. Out of that flows life, blessings, and contentment.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need- Psalm 23:1
Questions for reflection (and sharing with someone else if possible):
- What does sacrifice mean to you?
- Is God calling you to sacrifice in any area of your life?
- Try out an exercise: Hold your hands out straight in front of you. Then, clinch your fists really tight, and imagine yourself holding onto your life. Then, slowly open your fists, palms up. Imagine releasing everything to God. What are some things you’re feeling?
- Do you believe that what God has for you is better than what you are holding on to?
Song suggestions: “Jesus Paid it All” Kristian Stanfill; “Abide” Aaron Williams
1. Pray and decide what you can give toward our 36 month goal.
2. Make your commitment by presenting this card at our 1st Fruits Offering October 3rd.
3. Weekly or monthly, mark your check, envelope or e-giving with the designation “Building Fund.” You can give securely at app.easytithe.com/app/giving/pillargiving
4. If possible, contribute as much as possible by October 3rd to help us meet our down payment goal.
Contributions of non-cash assets such as stock or property are also welcomed.