Sacrifice

The Ultimate Gift-giver

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God is the ultimate gift-giver. When we give to Him, we are only returning what belongs to Him. When we give to others, we demonstrate God’s sacrificial heart. So let us gratefully receive the abundance He has given! And let us humbly give our lives to Him, knowing that all we have has first been given to us.

 

Photo Credit: Christmas Present | mac9416 | Flickr

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A Choice

Here we have a choice. We can wallow in the mire of suffering until it overtakes our resolve to live. Or we can finally declare: “It’s not about me.”

 

Photo Credit: File:Fork in the road near Pillaton – geograph.org.uk – 1029422 …

50 Shades of Love

The truest of loves involves self-sacrifice, not self-gratification.

Source: 50 Shades of Love

The Sacrifice of Here and Now

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We often think of love as one big sacrifice,

but we can’t forget the countless moment-by-moment sacrifices involved in true love.

Source: The Sacrifice of Here and Now

Note to Self…Look Beyond

True love looks beyond the current sacrifices, struggles, and doubts

to the good that can come from it all.

Source: Note to Self…Look Beyond

Where are the Heroes of Today?

Blog_NoGreaterLoveI’m struck silent as I consider statistics on child poverty, abuse, and injustice. 143 million orphans. 1 billion children worldwide living in poverty. Over 3 million children abused each year. 150 million children engaged in child labor. 400,000 children trafficked across the borders each year. Reading these facts, I lament: these children need a hero. Actually, they need heroes to rise up and become a voice in our world of injustice.

In light of the grave suffering our world’s children endure, it’s a farce that our culture would attempt to re-define heroism according to a person’s investment in their own sensual fulfillment. Really? Would we call a hero one who would spend millions in pursuit of self-gratification? Is courage now dependent on one’s commitment to self-indulgent personal happiness? Is bravery now equated to one’s ability to acquire millions for squandering on selfish fantasies?

There was a time when a hero was one who sacrificed all for the good of others. Courage came in the form of laying down one’s life for a friend. Bravery meant facing death that others could live.

Our flimsy re-definition of heroism is but a symptom of deep-rooted issues. We’ve suppressed the truth of who we are and whose we are. We’ve forgotten why we’re here. If each would live according to our greater purpose and higher calling, how much of today’s suffering would dissipate? And how quickly.

Instead, we live ignorant and bored, ever in search of the latest diversion, however costly. And we read the headlines, shake our heads at the devastation and praise the man-made-woman all the while pointing our fingers at God in blame for the suffering.

If there is evil, it’s not because God is silent and inactive. It’s because we are. And we’ve traded the greater good for the empty cistern of selfish gain.

About that Day When Everyone’s Irish

What do you think of when the calendar reads March 17? The color green and three-leaf clovers? Rainbows, leprechauns, and pots of gold? Bagpipes, blarney stone, and a little thing called luck?

You might not think of slavery—of a life devastated by separation from home and family. Of a young man trapped in a foreign land, bound in chains. Or of this same man, miraculously brought to escape only to willingly return to the land that held him bound, and all for love. You may not think these things, for this is the story that often goes untold.

Where I live, St. Patrick’s Day is a festive holiday for the Irish and non-Irish alike. Green-painted people roam the streets, some with tall green hats or shamrocks springing from their heads. Thousands flock to the parade and all the after-parties, sharing a toast to the day when everyone’s Irish. Even the river goes green. But are we aware of the haunting yet heroic story behind the day?

While he is often presumed to have been Irish, Patrick was actually from what we now know as Great Britain. And while he is deemed a saint, his life was not always all that saintly. His story is tragedy turned epic.

As a teen, he was taken captive by godless men and sold into slavery. At the time, he’d vehemently rejected the faith for which he is now known, but life as a slave opened his eyes to the powerful yet loving hand of God in his life. There in Ireland—far from all he knew and loved, he found the forgiveness of God. After six years of slavery, he escaped on a ship and returned to his homeland.

A few years after his return, Patrick had a vision calling him to make the ultimate sacrifice—to leave his family, this time willingly, and to return to the people who had enslaved him. I can’t imagine what he must have felt, and how he must have wrestled. To return to those who had treated him with such cruelty, and to preach a message of love and forgiveness? Only one who knew such love and forgiveness could complete such a mission. And Patrick knew.

He knew he was no saint. He knew he needed forgiveness. And he knew that forgiveness came as a result of God’s great sacrifice for him. It was gratitude for this love that moved him to sacrifice, as well—and not for those it was easy to love. He nobly sacrificed for those who had stolen his very life. And that degree of sacrifice is the essence of true love. Can we toast to that?

Source: About that Day When Everyone’s Irish