Sermon on Sacrifice – Three Examples of Sacrifice

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Sermon on Sacrifice

Date written: October 9th, 2003

Bible Text: Romans 12:1-2

SUBJECT: Discipleship

TITLE: Three Examples of Sacrifice

PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will discuss the meaning of sacrifice. In this lesson we will illustrate this meaning through three examples: 1) a poor person, 2) a preacher, and 3) a pilgrim.

OBJECTIVES:Each hearer should be able to understand and explain what it means to make sacrifices for the Lord.

AIM:I want every person to be renewed in spirit toward making the appropriate sacrifices in their life for the kingdom of God.

INTRODUCTION:

1. Read: Romans 12:1, 2

2. About the Text:

1) Under the Old Testament, sacrifices were to literally die. Their blood was shed and the sacrifice was thereby “dedicated” or “destroyed.”

2) Jesus sacrificed for us both His LIVING and His LIFE.

a. He sacrificed His LIVING by giving his whole personal life over to the service of God.

b. He sacrificed His LIFE by dying on the cross and shedding his blood for our forgiveness.

c. Both His LIVING and His LIFE were dedicated to God.

3) Today in the Christian age, God expects no less of us.

a. We are to focus upon being LIVING sacrifices each and every day. One MUST do this to live the Christian life.

b. We MAY be called upon to sacrifice our LIFE for our faith. It is NOT necessarily the case, however, that this is a requirement for the life of the Christian. That is, one may live a life well pleasing to God and die of “natural” causes.

4) A living sacrifice is someone who makes the appropriate sacrifices within one’s life each and every day to glorify God through His Son, Jesus.

5) But, no doubt, the question arises in many, “What is a sacrifice?” “How can I make sacrifices?”

6) Let’s take a look at the concept of “sacrifice” through three prominent Biblical examples.

3. Special NOTE: Have you ever played the “Who Am I” game? This is where you try to guess who you are talking about by describing someone in terms of their personal attributes. We are going to do this today with these examples. I want you to try to guess the examples as we think through this lesson on sacrifice. I will give you one hint. These are all Bible characters, so no need to guess anyone who is not a Bible character.

4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION:

I.   A Poor Person – The Widow’s Mites

1. “Who am I?”

1) I am someone who Jesus saw.

2) I am on a limited income.

3) I am poor financially, but I am rich spiritually.

4) I am alone in this world, but someone was with me one day.

5) I am found only in the books of Mark and Luke.

6) I am a woman.

7) I rebuked the rich by my example.

8) I gave everything I had to God.

9) Though I am poor, I gave more than all the rich.

10) Who am I?

11) I am the widow of Mark 12:42 and Luke 21:2 who gave her last two mites to the Lord.

2. Read Mark 12:41-44.

3. We learn the following lessons concerning sacrifice.

1) It is not sacrifice if we give what we can afford – whether this is money, possessions, time, etc.

a. Notice the example of the Macedonians.

b. Read 2 Cor. 8:1-5

2) It is not sacrifice unless it is given with the right purpose and for the right reasons.

a. Jesus was watching “HOW” people gave.

b. We know that some in that day often gave for the glory of men to be seen of men (Matthew 6:2).

c. The widow gave with the right spirit.

3) It is sacrifice when we give to God things that we genuinely NEED.

a. Widows were the most neglected member of that society.

b. That widow needed that money.

II.  A Preacher – Paul

1. “Who am I?”

1) I was born a Jew.

2) I knew Jesus personally.

3) I am an apostle.

4) I traveled by boat in my lifetime.

5) I preached the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles.

6) I wrote several New Testament books.

7) I gave up everything that I had worked for in my life for Jesus.

8) I suffered stripes, imprisonment, shipwreck, and other persecutions for the cause of Christ.

9) Before I became a Christian, I fasted for three days.

10) Who am I?

11) I am Paul who was once called Saul of Tarsus.

2. Read Philippians 3:3-8 and 2 Corinthians 11:23-28

3. We learn from Paul the following lessons concerning sacrifice.

1) Sacrifice involves the dedication of any and all personal accomplishments to Christ. There is nothing man can accomplish that is too noble to sacrifice for the sake of Christ.

a. How often men fall short here.

b. Educational degrees.

c. Business credentials.

d. Humanitarian awards.

e. All should be laid at the feet of Christ.

f. Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:25, 26).

2) It is not a sacrifice when we try to serve God from the comfort of our easy chair. If our life doesn’t involve personal loss and personal suffering for the sake of Christ, then we have made no sacrifice.

a. Jesus said, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:20).

b. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

III. A Pilgrim – Abraham

1. “Who Am I?”

1) I lived under a different covenant that you.

2) I lived in tents all my life.

3) I was a fairly wealthy man in my day.

4) I was not a high priest, but offered sacrifices before one.

5) During my time, God spoke directly to the Father’s of the families.

6) I sacrificed the nearness and comfort of family to follow God.

7) God promised me that all families would be blessed in my seed.

8) I cast out one son and offered up the other to please God.

9) I am spoken of in the scriptures as the “friend of God,” and “the Father of the Faithful.”

10) Who am I?

2. Read Hebrews 11:8-10; Genesis 22:1-12

3. We learn from Abraham the following lessons regarding sacrifice.

1) Sacrifice means to obey God regardless of where that leaves our family.

a. Abraham went out.

b. He didn’t know where he was going.

c. God told him where to go.

d. Abraham sacrificed his present situation for a better country.

e. Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Mat.10:37).

2) Sacrifice means that we must put trust in God that He will provide for whatever it is we need.

a. Abraham didn’t know what kind of land awaited him.

b. He put his faith and trust in God that where he was going God would provide.

c. Abraham had to sacrifice trust in self to do this (Pro.3:5, 6).

3) Sacrifice involves forfeiture of that which is very near and dear to us.

a. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac because God asked him.

b. God has asked us to give him everything we have today as a living sacrifice.

c. Do we hold anything in our lives for our own selves?

d. Have we held back anything from God?

e. Lay everything you have at the Lord’s feet this day to be used for His good pleasure.

f. Remember the Rich Fool. Luke 12:15-21 Oh if he had only made some sacrifices!

CONCLUSION:

1. We have looked at three examples of sacrifice.

1) A Poor Person–The Widow and her mites.

2) A Preacher–Paul the Apostle

3) A Pilgrim-Abraham the Father of the Faithful.

2. From these examples we have learned the following lessons regarding sacrifice

1) It is not sacrifice if we give what we can afford – whether this is money, possessions, time, etc.

2) It is not sacrifice unless it is given with the right purpose and for the right reasons.

3) It is sacrifice when we give to God things that we genuinely NEED.

4) Sacrifice involves the dedication of any and all personal accomplishments to Christ. There is nothing man can accomplish that is too noble to sacrifice for the sake of Christ.

5) It is not a sacrifice when we try to serve God from the comfort of our easy chair. If our life doesn’t involve personal loss and personal suffering for the sake of Christ, then we have made no sacrifice.

6) Sacrifice means to obey God regardless of where that leaves our family.

7) Sacrifice means that we must put trust in God that He will provide for whatever it is we need.

8) Sacrifice involves forfeiture of that which is very near and dear to us.

3. Invitation

1) Are you a Christian?

a. Have you been a living sacrifice for God?

b. Do you remember your baptism when you were married to Christ?

c. Do you remember that you died to self?

d. What sacrifices have you made for him this hour, week, month, year?

e. If you are making no sacrifices, then you are not taking up your cross.

f. You need to do that for Him today.

2) If you are not a Christian this morning…

a. You’ve spent your life pursuing self.

b. You’ve never really been asked to make sacrifices for God.

c. Begin by sacrificing yourself today to God’s will.

a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing…”

b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible….”

c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).

d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt. 16:16).

e) Be Baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).

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