Below are my posts that are tagged "sacrifice"

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Jul 20

life through sacrifice

I have been thinking about this quote for a few weeks now. I have had it displayed on my chalkboard for awhile and think about it often.

IMG_9677“Live hard. Enjoy every moment. Get blisters and on your deathbed receive death as the grace it was intended to be.” – ND Wilson

How can we receive death as a grace? Isn’t death scary, sad, and the very thing we strive to avoid? In Christ, on the contrary. God has designed it to be a blessing. At the end of a long, hard, and happy life, death IS a blessing. I love how death is indeed a grace for those in Him, who have worked hard – putting it all on the line, and for those who have enjoyed the struggles and the joys life has thrown at them.

Along these same lines, Ian and I have been talking lots about sacrifice. It’s a good way to live life, sacrificing for one another. Laying down our lives daily for one another. Christ sacrificed for us and therefore, we sacrifice for others. It’s only through the cross that sacrificing even makes sense. We as Christians should be the foremost in laying down our lives with joy!

I have struggled being grabby with “Ian time.” When he is home, I want him all to myself. I don’t want to have people over too often or let him go get too many coffees with other guys. But just in the last few months Ian and I  have been talking about bleeding for the church. And that has gotten me REALLY excited to lay down my life (time, naps for the kids, my agenda, and money) for His people. Just a few ways we have been trying to apply this is by having people over more regularly (and focusing more on them then whether my house is perfectly clean or not), by me being excited to have Ian meet with other guys, and by getting together with others more often during the week. I have found when I am thinking about laying down my life and leaving a piece of my heart here in NC, I get really excited to bleed!

And I love how when you feel like you have nothing left to give or to sacrifice, Christ just keeps giving you more grace. What a kind God we serve.

I can’t wait to see what other good thoughts are in ND Wilson’s new book, “Death by Living”. I am sure it won’t disappoint.

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do

Jun 22

death and dirt

A thought struck me the other day as I was meeting with a group of guys, talking about the topic of humility. Humility is something that we rarely ever talk about but yet most, if they were asked directly, would admit that they aspire to at least to some form of it. We rarely talk about humility probably due to the fact that (1) most of us are not really too excited about being known for humility – because it often appears weak – and (2) we are afraid of appearing “holier than thou” (as though holiness were something to avoid). Though many of us may get excited about the honor that is directed at the humble – we just want the honor, not the humility.

We are often disgusted at those “fakers” we see who go through the motions but obviously have selfish motives. Though we may despise others for insincere motives we have no problem with it when it comes to our own practice of it. We find avenues to display what have been labeled “humble actions” to avoid having to do anything that might look weak or spineless in others’ eyes.

Whatever our rationale is for our aversion to humility – whether that be to the idea of it (which we may be fond of) or to the actual practice of it (which is on completely different level) – the truth is that humility could not be more opposed to our fleshly nature. Being that Christ is the ultimate example of humility we might say that to aspire to humility is to aspire to holiness. And it is at this point that we realize our dramatically distorted concept of humility is only echo of the true form.

We would much prefer the veneer of humility that we have adopted because it only requires going thru the motions of sacrifice but lacking the necessary death and dirt that is associated with true humility. True humility does not seek to maintain a squeaky-clean reputation as we commonly esteem “cleanliness” because it is more concerned about the one being sacrificed FOR and not itself. Christ taking the form of a man and being crucified like a criminal seems silly if the point was to keep a squeaky clean image. He displayed the true essence of humility in bearing our stripes and going to the grave.

We, however, are afraid of the dirt of sacrifice because we’ve spent a lot on building our wardrobe of humility. We act as though humility can be assembled with all it’s necessary parts like an outfit we pick out for the next day. If we simply put on these clothes, we can still maintain a good image and no pain or dying is necessary. If people recognize our “humility clothes” and associate those with humility our only remaining task is one of laundry, not heart change. Chances are, if it is true humility in action, on-lookers won’t be complimenting your outfit, they’ll be laughing at it.

True humility is only possible because of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection. It only makes sense in his economy. Let’s not settle for the cheap stuff. Look to him as the example by and for which to live that example. If we are aiming for true humility we must not be afraid of dirt and most importantly the necessity of death. Because it is only when we die that we will find true life.

So in all our “doing”, men, let’s be known for humility. Let’s lay down our lives for our families and for one another and be the type of people worth following and hanging around. Stop gawking at others humility outfits or encouraging a culture where pride is a masculine necessity. If we are not striving for humility, the default of pride will most certainly take over.

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