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January 27, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | January 27

Sacrifice Like Christ

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:6-7

These famous words of martyred missionary Jim Elliot make him the patron saint in my book: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.” In one sentence he captures the essence of what it means to risk spiritually. And while few of us will be called to give our lives, millions of us will be called to give our wills for His will, material wealth for spiritual wealth, earthly recognition for heavenly recognition, carnal appetites for godly appetites, career dreams for God’s dreams, corporate ladders for family health and competent compromise for spiritual integrity. Sacrifice and suffering loss for the sake of our faith is what connects the God-Man and God’s man.

Jesus was made fit to lead us through suffering. Naturally, if He lives in you, God will make you fit by calling you to a sacrificial life. More importantly, sacrifice for Christ is what unites you more deeply with Christ. How else could the apostle Paul write, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering” (Philippians 3:10)?

Some men are drawn to the idea of sacrificing their life for Him; but what He asks far more often is that we live a life of sacrifice in Him. Men who dare greatly for their faith have asked and answered this question: “Am I willing to sacrifice my agenda in order to be used for God’s agenda?” What idols do you need to smash at His feet? What habits keep you from full faith?

Father, Your risk was provided to help me risk. Thank you, Jesus.

Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot (Lives of Faith), Elisabeth Elliot, HarperCollins, NY, NY 2009.

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