Saturday, March 2, 2024

Obedience and Sacrifice: The Obedient Sacrifice

Broadcast 3959
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Philippians 3:8 (BBE) Yes truly, and I am ready to give up all things for the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, which is more than all: for whom I have undergone the loss of all things, and to me they are less than nothing, so that I may have Christ as my reward
In the Old Testament, we learned about the story of Saul who disobeyed under the guise of sacrifice. To whom Samuel rebuked saying, “Obedience is better than sacrifice and to heed than fatted rams”. However, to hear this and disdain sacrifice will be to miss the point.

To sacrifice usually involves giving up something of value. The call of discipleship in God’s kingdom requires sacrifice, Jesus said that anyone who must be his disciple must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow him. Have you ever thought about what it means to deny oneself? It calls for great sacrifice.

The key to extracting the gem of God’s wisdom here is to ask what is being addressed here. What was Prophet Samuel rebuking? What is the wisdom of God to be drawn from here? One thing you must get is this: The sacrifice of disobedience is abhorrent to God. You can even recoin that to say ‘The sacrifice of the disobedient is unacceptable to God’, Cain’s story is a good footnote to this point.

However, this does not negate the fact that the obedient sacrifice. In fact, the sacrifice of Obedience is a delight to the Lord. Firstly, the call to discipleship calls for a total abandonment of one’s own personal agenda in total resignation to and complete adoption of God’s own agenda. The disciple loses his life (a life of living to please oneself) and only then does he find true life; eternal life in Christ Jesus.

This call implies that he recognizes that all he has, is a function of the benevolence of God and must be kept in stewardship for the Lord and spent in line with the will of his Provider, Lord and Master. At this point, the debate of 10% becomes a non-issue to such a believer, because he has enrolled in the same class that once said “We have left all and followed you”. His preoccupation is no longer to calculate a meager 10% but to seek to understand how the owner of the 100% seeks to disburse it.

The Obedient gives God his time, skill, abilities, resources, and indeed life to the cause of God and to fulfill the counsel and purpose of God for his/her life. Personal ambitions, fleshly desires, and self-propagation are all regular objects of sacrifice at the altar of true obedience to God.

Apostle Paul standing before King Agrippa among other things recounted his conversion story to him declaring that “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (See Acts 26:19), in his obedience he gave up all and followed and so must we, in line with God’s expressed will and plan for our lives.

Go into today with renewed zeal to heed the call of discipleship and to follow the Lord to the end.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

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