Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sacrificing To Change

“Take with you your only son—yes, Isaac whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him there...” Gen 22:2 (TLB)

We all have something we’d like to change in our lives. It might be our schedule or our habits, our words or our weight. Many of us struggle with making those changes. Instead of telling yourself you cannot change, why not discover the secret of lasting change.

The secret of lasting change is sacrifice. In the give and take of life what you give you keep and what you take you end up losing. Any talk about change must include an honest look at sacrifices. Lasting change is built on real sacrifices. Your attitude towards sacrifice can be a grumbled, “We all have to make sacrifices,” or a faith filled, “God asks us all to make sacrifices.” The sacrifices God asks of us always build towards the blessings God wants to give to us.

Abraham understood sacrifice. He sacrificed his former life and people when he moved to the promised land. And then, when it seemed that all the sacrifices had been made and he could coast for the rest of his life, God asked for the biggest sacrifice of all. He told Abraham to sacrifice his son. How could God ask that of Abraham? How could God ask so much of us? You've got it all wrong! It's not as if He takes and we give. It's more that he teaches us how to give so that He can give us even more.

We read this story and the tension builds - would God really let Abraham go through with it! There is a sigh of relief in us all when God stops Abraham at the end - when He provides a ram in the thicket. Hebrews 11 tells us that Abraham trusted God to resurrect his son even if he had completed the sacrifice.

In New Testament days this scene is replayed. Once again it's an only son, ready to be sacrificed. But this time it is Jesus, God's son, on the cross. But this time no voice calls out, no ram in the thicket. What He would not allow Abraham to do God himself did. Jesus sacrificed His life!

The sacrifice that Abraham did not have to make changed him. The sacrifice that Jesus did make changed us. There is no change without sacrifice.

Family Discussion Question: What would you like to change?

Family Activity: “Change” the colour of some water by adding a few drops of food colouring. Talk about the fact that having Jesus in our lives may seem like a little thing to some people, but it changes EVERYTHING about us.

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