Friendship and Sacrifice

Filed under: Scripture — Tags: , — joshua de quilettes @ 4:09 pm

WE WILL NEVER KNOW THE JOY of self-sacrifice until we surrender in every detail of our lives. Yet self-sacrifice is the most difficult thing for us to do. We make it conditional by saying, “I’ll surrender if . . . !” Or we approach it by saying, “I suppose I have to devote my life to God.” We will never find the joy of self-sacrifice in either of these ways.

But as soon as we totally surrender, abandoning ourselves to Jesus, the Holy Spirit give us the taste of His joy. The ultimate goal of self-sacrifice is to lay down our lives for our Friend. *

When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, our greatest desire is to lay down our lives for Jesus. Yet the thought of self-sacrifice never even crosses our minds, because sacrifice is the Holy Spirit’s ultimate expression of love.

Our Lord is our example of a life of self-sacrifice, and he perfectly exemplified, ** “I delight to do Your will, O my God . . .” He endured tremendous personal sacrifice, yet with overflowing joy. Have I ever yielded myself in absolute submission to Jesus Christ? If He is not the One to whom I am looking for direction and guidance, then there is no benefit in my sacrifice. But when my sacrifice is made with my eyes focused on Him, slowly but surely His molding influence becomes evident in my life. ***

Beware of letting your natural desires hinder your walk in love before God. One of the cruelest ways to kill natural love is through the rejection that results from having built the love on natural desires. But the one true desire of a saint is the Lord Jesus. Love for God is not something sentimental or emotional – for a saint to love as God loves is the most practical thing imaginable.

“I have called you friend. . .” Our friendship with Jesus is based on the new life He created for us, which has no resemblance or attraction to our old life but only to the life of God. It is a life that is completely humble, pure, and devoted to God.

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* John 15:13-15 NKJV

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

** Psalm 40:8 NKJV

8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”

*** Hebrews 12: 1-2 NKJV

The Race of Faith

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

from My Utmost for His Highest

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John 15 (NIV) 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

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