“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
“I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). We are called upon to present ourselves as living sacrifices. Give up your life as you continue living it; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). Daily we pull ourselves onto the altar of sacrifice. I admit, sometimes I do slip or fall off. However, I don’t stay on the ground for long. I pull myself, yes, sometimes drag myself, back onto the altar.
Billy Cole preached a message called “The Reward of Sacrifice” and it has made it into his book Teachings by Billy Cole. His text was 1 Samuel 6: 7 – 14. Two cows were tied to a cart, to carry the Ark of the Covenant. Their calves were kept at home. The two cows lowed as they went on their way. That was their initial sacrifice. Reaching their destination, the cart was destroyed, and the cows paid the ultimate sacrifice—their lives as a burnt offering. I remember Brother Cole saying, “The reward for sacrifice is another, bigger sacrifice!”
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” (Jim Elliot).
Bruce A. Howell wrote, “As I scan the list of heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, I notice these men and women of vision had one thing in common. When it came to serving their God, they never counted the cost. They willingly gave all. It’s been years since I’ve heard that little song, “Take it all…What this world can offer me, take it all. For one hundred years from now, it won’t matter anyhow.” Oh, for a resurgence of that attitude! How much is biblically expected when it comes to contributing to the kingdom of heaven; making a kingdom investment? The answer contains three simple letters: ALL.”
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he…selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:44-46).”