Devotional Thought 1: Radical Sacrifice

It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)

So there I am, four in the morning, barely alive, but ready to dig in to what the Lord wanted to show me for the day. The night before, I had prayed for the Holy Spirit to wake me up early so I had prime time to spend in His Word, and He chose 4 AM. Cool, I guess…

At first, it seemed like He was leading me to meditate on Scriptures about casting my cares on Him and committing my worries and anxieties to Him in exchange for His peace. We all know how that goes. We’ve all found comfort in verses like 1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6, where the Holy Spirit speaks through Paul and Peter to encourage us to relinquish our fear and worry to our loving Father. But this time, the Lord flipped the script on me.

See, when we look at those passages in this manner, we focus on receiving: receiving God’s supernatural peace, His promises to bring our plans to pass, etc. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But this morning, after 3 hours of patiently struggling to see where I was being led (yes, 3 hours), I finally got it: when we [disciples and believers in Christ] entrust ourselves and our needs to our Abba Father, and have faith that He really does love and care for us as His own beloved children, we are able to sacrifice whatever He needs from us for His glory, no matter how valuable or expensive.

Consider the exemplary model of Mary of Bethany, Lazarus’ sister in Mark 14. As the time came for Jesus to fulfill His mission, she came to Him, and anointed His head with oil that was worth about 300 denarii, a years wage. That’s insane! Mary basically took something worth a whole year’s salary, and poured it on Jesus’ head. How was she able to offer up something worth so much to honor the Lord? Because she loved Him, and trusted Him with her life; she knew that He was who He said He was, the King of kings who promised to exalt and greatly reward His faithful servants. Acts 4, Barnabas sells his land to give the money to the Body of Christ; Matthew 21, some random dude gives his donkey for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem on, fulfilling Divine prophecy! The examples abound!

So, are you still wondering why I got up at 4 am to spend time with Yeshua (Jesus)? Because I love Him, and I chose to have faith and believe that He will supply me with the energy and rest I need. And that frees me to be willing to live radically, such as giving my sleep time to Him to honor and learn from Him.

  • I challenge us all to pray, and seek where the Spirit is leading us to live the life of radical giving, and to take the first step by choosing to relinquish our cares and worries to our Abba, because they stop us from pouring our expensive oils on His head, from giving Him our donkeys so He can glorify Himself.

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