Sacrifice

Dear Fellow-Disciple:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. (Hebrews 3:1)

For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this High Priest also have something to offer. (Hebrews 8:3)

Those of us who commit to become disciples of Christ are brought by the Holy Spirit to an intersection in our lives. The Word of God is our road map. It shows us the way and we are accountable to take the proper direction. If we ignore the road map, we experience the consequences.

As at any crossroad, we could pay no attention to the directions and speed straight through the intersection. We could continue on a path which does not lead toward the destination God desires for us, even though we have verbally committed ourselves to discipleship.

If we take the proper turns, we arrive at the destination God has in mind for us. The first things God usually wants to deal with are habit patterns or characteristics we must get rid of. As we pray and allow the Holy Spirit to bring those characteristics to the surface we should write them down. This procedure is fundamental in shaping our strategy to become disciples.

The second step is just as necessary. The above Scriptures indicate that as High Priest, Jesus should have something to

offer, something to place on the altar on our behalf. He has already offered His blood, so that is no longer necessary.

The things we have written down are what we should lift up to Him as sacrifices. They are characteristics of our flesh that need to be consumed by the altar fire. When we release them to our High Priest, we loose our hold on them and give Him total control. This is not an easy decision for us to make, but it is essential to our progress. After we have done this we can burn the list, for the condition is no longer in our hands.

Achieving God's purpose in our lives requires courage, determination, discipline, perseverance, and a large portion of His grace. If we're weak in any of these traits we get mired down in a muddy detour.

For example, we can't eat, drink and inhale whatever comes our way without suffering the consequences. And we can't ignore a regular exercise program and expect to maintain good health and robust energy. These are physiological laws.

That example is true in every area of discipleship. God will not sovereignty impart discipleship into our beings, we have to progressively walk it out. We walk it out by doing the right things for the right reasons.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

There is no better goal than the high calling of God. In Paul's words, that requires effort on our part. A popular saying among athletes is, "No pain, no gain!" They understand that all progress requires sacrifice. It is no different for a disciple of Jesus Christ.

When we face the many things that need to change we may be tempted to give up. It is true that we are weak in all the traits we need to fulfill God's purpose. We don't have the courage nor the determination nor the discipline nor the perseverance to make it. We can only count upon His grace, but is there a limit to the amount of that we can expect?

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We know that God is not a liar. He is not concerned about our weaknesses, only about the degree of commitment in our hearts. If we are committed enough to begin placing on the altar those things that stand between us and discipleship, He will do the rest.

We are poised at the intersection. We have the road map. The direction we choose will determine our destiny.

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: What have I laid upon the altar of my High Priest today?