“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. ‘When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” Matthew 19:21-22
I read two devotionals each morning and recently, both of them had to do with sacrifice. In the quote above, a young man asks Jesus what more he should do in order to inherit eternal life. He claims to have kept all the laws and commandments of the Jewish faith. As you see, Jesus then challenges him to make a great sacrifice, to give up his particular worldly “idol” and he is unable to do it.
The second devotion dealt with the plight of persecuted Christians. In many countries around the world, Christians expect to be imprisoned for sharing their faith. However, it doesn’t deter them. They realize the importance of spreading the gospel of Christ, and even when it costs them their livelihood or their freedom they don’t stop.
In our country, we are not persecuted (at least in any severe way) and perhaps because of that, we have lost any sense of urgency in evangelizing others. After all, Bibles are available and often free, the churches are open, the information is available to anyone who seeks. We don’t really need to go out and tell them. Do we?
I have to wonder, would I be willing to give up my job, my savings account, my family, my freedom for the sake of Christ? If Jesus Himself asked me to sacrifice the things I am most attached to, would I obey? Or would I be like the rich young man who couldn’t part with the things of this world? Looking at the two examples above, one positive and one negative, I’m asking myself today, which one am I? Which one are you?