Monday, September 13, 2010

Material for Sacrifice

Last night we had a prayer summit at our church. To be honest, I wasn't really expecting anything to "move me." Boy was I wrong. In both the morning and evening services they showed a video - one that pierced my heart. The video told the story of how a destitute, childless widower in Togo, Africa came to Christ. Many of the villagers that came to Christ that week brought fruits or vegetables from their days labor as an offering of thankfulness to God. This woman had absolutely nothing but desperately wanted to give something to God to tangibly express her gratitude for saving her. This grieved her deeply. At the end of the week, she placed a silver coin on the table with the rest of the offerings. The missionary assumed that she had stolen it and confronted her after the service. She proceeds to tell him how much Christ has changed her life. Then says that she went to the tea plantation owner and sold herself as a slave so that she had something to give to God, not only to express gratitude but also so that others may hear the good news. Wow. It left me speechless. What am I doing sitting here amid all of the wealth that surrounds me?

It seems as though I hear and read about poverty, money and sacrifice everyday. I can get away from the fact that I am incredibly wealthy as an American, and how hypocritical it is of me not to sacrifice for the gospel. I am also constantly reminded of Luke 12:32-34: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." The question remains: will I obey by learning to sacrifice my "treasures" in this world for heavenly ones?

I wrote this several years ago when I was faced with serious heath issues. At the time, I was surrendering to the Lord the possibility that I might never be healthy again. I thought it was a fitting prayer for today as I seek to surrender all of my possessions into the Lord's hands and to sacrifice for the cause of Christ...for the glory of God. I have so much material for sacrifice. How can I keep it for myself?

~ Material for Sacrifice ~ 

You always provide
Material for sacrifice
In whatever place I am.
You want me willing
To offer up my "Isaac,"
And surrender to your plan.

So I pour out everything-
"The waters of Bethlehem"
As David did for Thee.
I dare not offer up
Any sacrifice to You
That costs nothing of me.

No, I give You what I
Deem most precious,
And dearest to me.
As the priests burnt
All the best lambs - take
Nothing less than all of me.

Lamb of God, You came
Giving all of Yourself
To pay my debt.
You gave all,
And You ask all -
This I can't forget.

I light of the cross,
Sacrifice for You seems
Nothing but gain now.
Joyfully, tearfully, I surrender
So that You may
Be glorified in my life somehow.

I am willing, Master,
To be burnt up,
If that is what You should choose.
Life means nothing
Apart from You;
My gain is to lose.

Suffering, reproach, trials -
To face these,
In You, make me strong.
Let me be a living sacrifice
For Your fame and glory
My whole life long.

You always provide
Material for sacrifice
In whatever place I am.
So wholly consume
This sacrifice:
My life is in Your hands.

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