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What is your sacrifice?


Scripture:

Matthew 16:13-20

Romans 12:1-8

Children’s Moment:

Have you ever tried to put together a puzzle and then got it almost done and there was a piece missing ….or two or epee gats what about three or four or five!!!! That is the worst. It is terrible. The kids had a puzzle that drove me nuts of the Muppets when they were little. It was missing a couple of pieces. They loved it but we could never, ever finish it because of the missing pieces. Paul is reminding the people of the church that we are like that – we are part of something bigger than ourselves and we need each other. We are part of the puzzle of the Kingdom. We are needed and necessary. Without us something is missing. Just like a puzzle isn’t complete without all the pieces, when we don’t do our part in our communities and our churches, when we don’t use our gifts and talents, when we don’t worship together (even online), or help out, and pray for each other…something is missing. When we are missing our community isn’t right without us. We are needed. So, I want you to think this week – what do you do to help your church community and the Kingdom of God? What are your gifts? What can you do? Share what you can do with your parents and Miss Debbie, Miss Janelle, Miss Jennie, or Pastor Missy sometime this week. You can send us an email, Facebook message, or short video. We want to hear about what you can do! Let us pray.

Reflection: “What is your sacrifice”

What have you sacrificed for your faith lately? Truly what have you sacrificed for your faith? An hour of your time? Money for the offering? Time for one of the ministries? Time with your Bible? Time with a small group? Willingness to be transformed by God’s own self? Willingness to say no to your own want in order to say yes to God? How do you tell the difference? How can you even figure all this out?

Paul is talking to the Romans about worship here. How does one worship as a Christ follower? He is reminding them that being a follower of Jesus is a whole-body experience. It is truly mind, body, and soul. It requires all of you. In the Roman system, the people would buy an offering and bring it to a holy place and hope that it was enough for the God. It was based on buying the deity off pretty much. Paul tells them, following Jesus is different.

When he asks them to not be conformed by this world but be transformed by the renewing of their minds so that they can figure out God’s will he isn’t kidding. That is the goal of discipleship for each of us. That is why we are disciples. It is an ongoing process. It takes time and our goal is transformation. That slow process of being changed from the inside out to be a little more like Jesus, like how God intended us to be…. the very best version of ourselves and community. Paul is very clear – the goal is never just for us. It is transformation of community. We each have a part, and each is important – none more important than another.

In a system where power and control are essential. Where people have power over one another and the only thing that seems to matter is your family name or what level you are in the empire, Paul is showing them an entirely new way of being. He tells them that they don’t change by pure force of will but by God’s grace. Grace will help them, but they can choose to cooperate with that grace, when they do their life changes and so does the community.

Paul is trying to describe to them how a Kingdom based in love will work and invites them into being members of it. He is inviting them into the discipleship journey that will transform their lives both as individuals and will change the communities that they are a part of. As we change, we affect change in the communities we interact with. We bring with us that Christ we have found.

When we sacrifice time in scripture and invite Christ into that, Christ changes us. When we sacrifice time for a small group Bible study and invite Christ into that, Christ changes us and tunes our heart and ears so we can more easily see and hear where he is working. When we sacrifice time for ministry, Christ tunes us into the needs and how we can transform community. When we sacrifice money, Christ transforms that into ministry and lives changed blessing you and those it touches…. The thing with Christ, it always feels like a sacrifice at first and sometimes you really, really don’t feel like doing it, but you are always way more blessed by it than what you ever put into it. So how are you sacrificing? Really? What has cost you anything for Christ this week? Keep track, write it down for yourself, and look back at it at the end of the week. Is it enough? Do you need to step up your game?

Next week we will welcome some new members into our community who completed the first stage their discipleship classes and made a commitment to continuing to grow in their discipleship to their ongoing transformation. That is the true goal of the community of faith is for each of us to grow in our discipleship, using our gifts for the good of the Kingdom. If you are interested in taking our next disciple membership class let me know.

Additional Readings

Monday – 1 Corinthians 12:1-12

Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Wednesday – Luke 9:21-27