LIVE SACRIFICIALLY – What will your part be?
What will your part be?
Now I was cupbearer to the King. –Nehemiah 1:11
2 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.
18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. — Nehemiah 2:2-5; 18
8 Next to them Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, repaired. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, repaired, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah repaired. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters. —Nehemiah 3:8-12
When we talk about sacrifice, it is often that the discussion turns toward people who’ve given up their lives for the sake of others. Whether it be during times of war, social injustice, public safety, education, or as missionaries or martyrs, these are all extraordinary examples of sacrifice. In fact, we would consider many of these people our “heroes,” wouldn’t we? One of the reason we see them as such is their story gets told and they subsequently get recognized.
But what about in the life of an average person like us? What kind of sacrifices get made with each decision you make? And how often does anyone really notice or acknowledge that it was a sacrifice? These are, of course, rhetorical questions, but questions that ring true every day for all of us. We all get to play a part, no matter what we do or from where we come.
The beauty of daily sacrifices is two-fold. On one side of the coin, they reveal for whom we are making our sacrifices, for whom we are giving something up so that that person may gain something, be it a better opportunity, a bit easier path, or just maybe some recognition. That sacrifice always points glory somewhere, whether that is on someone else or ourselves!
On the other side of that coin is that sacrifice builds in us a love and care for others or for something outside of ourselves. It causes us to find out what we may not have previously seen as beneficial to others—our time, the stuff we’re good at, our resources—and helps us use those things for others other than ourselves. No matter how big or small, we develop a perspective on us and with what God’s blessed us and how those things may be use for someone else!
In the Kingdom of God, we all are called to make a sacrifice, for this is what Jesus did for us! Identifying what our part will be will require us to not only be in constant communication with the Spirit, but in community as well so that we are able to identify and exercise those things for others. As for recognition, well, the One who has blessed each of us with our time, with our gifts, with our resources, is the one who reminds us that He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in our lives. Why, then, shouldn’t we work to play a part in the lives of others by living sacrificially for the Kindgom of God?
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