What is the distinction between loss and sacrifice?
Loss - something I have no control over. It is imposed by life, circumstances and unforeseen events that happen to me. It always is unpredictable, and painful, and is hard to accept when it costs me security, a sense of value and worth. It is common to everyone but still feels very personal when it happens to me. The effects are long lasting and it always takes time to grieve and come to grips with. The effects can last a lifetime. Loosing people you love, the expression of who I am and the opportunity to do what I was made to do is hard and takes time to process and come to terms with.
Sacrifice - this is something I do have control over and something I can choose to do. It is living out of who I am in Christ as I model the same way of life that He modeled while here on earth. It is choosing to give myself away as Christ commanded and doing so for His kingdom and His glory. When I choose to sacrifice I feel the pleasure of God in my life and His presence in the offering of whatever it is I am sacrificing for His glory. Sacrifice is evidence of Christ in me and is always followed by fulfillment in living as Jesus taught us to live, There is no better way to live and demonstrates humility and letting go of one’s self for God’s glory and His kingdom purposes.
What is it about me that makes me want to sacrifice?
I have always wanted nothing more than to be used by God in my gifts and talents to bring people to a deeper awareness of who Jesus is and what He has done for us and the life it now provides us as we choose to live in the truths and the reality of His sacrifice for us. Every song I write is to try and paint a picture of the amazing gift He is and the life we have now because of His sacrifice for us and now living in us. My faith in Jesus is the foundation of my life and the thing that allows me to face the hardships of life with hope. It is what has seen me through some of the darkest times in my life and still allows me to believe that I am not done and believe there is still something for me to do for my Savior and God. It is what allows me to dream and know that God is pleased with me and knows everything about me and still loves me more than anything else in all of His creation. This is what allows me to sacrifice - the faith that God sees and knows and stands by me in everything I do and never looses sight of me. His love of me never changes no matter what the circumstances of life bring me. His love never fails and He never quits doing His work in me and through me. He will accomplish what He set out to do in me no matter what! That is what allows me to continue moving forward and serving Him when sometimes I don’t feel it is making any difference. It is making a difference to Him and He is always pleased when I get up and try again and choosing to sacrifice for Him.That is why I choose to sacrifice my time, my energy and my comfort. It’s how He taught us to live.
This was an exercise that Bill Thrall asked me to do and I am convinced that it was more about the process of having to answer the questions than the answers themselves.
If I can figure this out, then I can build on it for whatever God has next for me. These convictions are what made it possible for me to do what I did for so many years and they can sustain whatever I do next. God is not done with me and I am excited about whatever He brings next and whatever doors He opens for me to continue to minister for and serve Him. He is everything to me and I can do no less than sacrifice myself for Him and His kingdom. I will serve Him with my last breath and I will give my all to the one who suffered death and hell for me. It bought me the life I have had and will continue to have. So join me on my journey and give everything to Him.
It is all or nothing. Don't let it be nothing!