An Encouraging Word...
The Value of Sacrifice
“…Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” January 20th marked 50 years since President Kennedy spoke those famous words in his inaugural address. Americans were reminded that the greatness of America is built on the sacrifice of its citizens. With the memory of the World War II efforts fading into the history books, the new president did not want this important value to be forgotten.
Fifty years later, it seems that Americans are asking, "What more can my country do for me?" Our federal debt has exploded to pay for programs that previously had been the responsibility of families, churches and local communities. And if mission activity is any indication, it would seem that the church in America has forgotten the value in sacrifice. In the last 20 years the number of career missionaries sent out by U.S. mission agencies has declined by over 45%.[i]
As Christians, we have been called to live a life of sacrifice. Romans 12:1 urges us to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices….” Hebrews 13:6 exhorts us to “do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). The very essence of our faith is based on the sacrificial suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His example of sacrifice that we are to imitate in living out our faith in this world (Ephesian 5:1-2).
Kennedy ended with this statement, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.” I must agree. The value of sacrifice is realized when our work is God’s work. There can be no more rewarding job than to bring glory to our Creator in all we do. It is the key to true and lasting fulfillment in the Christian life. A satisfied life is not obtained by getting more but by giving all.
Doug Morton, Elder