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by GABY HUNDZA
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
A couple of these verses stuck out to me:
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. -Hebrews 13:16
The use of the word sacrifice struck me; why is it that doing good and sharing with others is associated with sacrifice?
To fully understand what “sacrifice” means, I googled the definition, and these are some results:
- noun; an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
- verb; to give up something important or valued for the sake of other considerations.
Those two very similar definitions are saying the same thing: give something for someone else. When I hear the word sacrifice, I think of the struggle that may come with the sacrifice. It takes a strong will to sacrifice.
As I continued my research as to what sacrifice means, I found this definition: Christ's offering of himself in the Crucifixion.
This is the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus gave up his life for all of us, and the sacrifice we must make is to do good and share with others. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to give up something for someone else - the last seat on a bus, or a blanket or jacket when it’s cold. These are just a couple little sacrifices that we may have to make. We aren’t always willing to make these sacrifices; we would rather get to relax on the bus and enjoy the seat, or stay warm by curling up in the blanket or wearing the jacket. These small gestures don’t compare to what Christ did for us, but we still struggle to fulfill these gestures due to our own comfort and desires. In order to do good and share with others, we must be willing to disregard our own desires and focus on how we can help others.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. -Hebrews 13:20-21
These two verses tell us a lot about God’s love for us - he gave his only son for us, he is guiding us, he is blessing us with what is good, and he desires to work through us. Isn’t that incredible? We are instruments of the Lord. He gives us all that we need and leads us in the direction that is best for us all. We need to use all of the gifts he has blessed us with as the way he intended them to be used. Let him speak and reveal himself to others through you!
God first, others second, ourselves third. Our words should be used to glorify God and uplift others; our actions should be similar to Christ’s in the way he gave up so much for others. Be humble and show others what we live for