Happy Day to you! It’s a great time to meet for coffee and wrap up this sacrifice of righteousness by looking at the cost as we make our way to Destination? Joyful! ™ via the HIGHway! Grab your coffee and come on in.
So I left off with a question of being able to agree to disagree for the greater good. I wish I could say it was easy for me; in fact, sometimes it feels so foreign, but I am learning that the better thing to do, for so many reasons and on so many levels, is to resist evil by walking away after being emotionally/verbally slapped. See, when we agree to disagree, in love, this leaves less clean-up that God has to do! After all, those that we disagree with are His workmanship, not ours! Remember what Romans 12:18 says: If it is possible, as much as is possible with you live peaceably with others.
So let’s put our name in there wherever applicable and the name of someone unlovable in your life. If it is possible, ______, as much as is possible with you, ________, live peaceably with ________! Wow, talk about a splash of perspective and the awesome thing is we don’t have to do it alone! His Spirit will equip and enjoin in our efforts!
But, oh, the cost … so simple and complicated at the same time: Our pride!
Pride is rooted in a feeling that you are more important or better than other people!
Yikes, I don’t know about you, but when I read that part of the definition, I want to run so far and fast from pride that I never run into it again. Unfortunately, because it is a part of my flesh, I know this cost will be an ongoing sacrifice!
See, doing right is more complicated than just behaving ourselves: it is going out of our way to do the right thing, in other words, taking a detour from our own flesh! The reward of joy makes the cost all the more worth it!
But how do we do that? I mean, when you look at the word P R I D E, what’s smack in the middle? I, I, I, I, I!
How hard is it to push pride aside and let peace reside? It’s a matter of focus! Where is your focus? If our focus remains on what was done to us by whom it was done, pride can’t get pushed to the side. But if our focus turns even just a little bit towards the One who died for our pride, pride begins to loosen its grip upon our hearts. Ask yourself this question: Is what I’m hanging on to of any eternal value? If it’s something that won’t be condoned in heaven, then leave it in the world! He tells us in 1st John 2:15 that if we hang on to anything in this world, we become like the world and the more like the world we become, the less room there is to love our Heavenly Father.
Anytime I think of offering up a sacrifice of righteousness, someone else is always involved! In other words, any of our relationships will require us, and often daily, to offer up a Sacrifice of Righteousness and the price tag is our pride.
Another cost in offering up a Sacrifice of Righteousness is time! How many of us are so busy doing we don’t know how to be? Ouch, I just poked at my own heart! 🙂 Let me get right to a conviction I struggle with: The Sabbath. How many of us make the time to take the time to celebrate – yes, I said celebrate – the Sabbath? Mark 2:27 tells us that the Sabbath was made for us, not us for the Sabbath. I don’t know about you, but I can become so busy in what I’m doing, and focused, that I don’t take time to rest, or to celebrate life. That’s what the Sabbath is all about, a day of celebrating all He has given to us and done for us through the act of worship! He wants us to take this time to refresh and renew and rejuvenate before it is too late! Burnout is so incredibly common, especially in church leadership. Is it any wonder that a Sacrifice of Righteousness has the price tag of our time? The crazy thing is it’s for our good! He honors our well-spent time. If time were in a bank account, what would the deposits look like and what would the withdrawals look like? Offering up a Sacrifice of Righteousness almost always costs some time. The more time you spend with Him, the more time you’ll have to give!
I’m sure there are other smaller price tags in offering up a Sacrifice of Righteousness, but these are the two that will never go on sale, never change and will always be required.
Oh, Abba, I pray that I would turn to you, and from my flesh, in order to offer a sacrifice of righteousness; that I would stop in the midst of my doing throughout the day and just be with You; that my light, you in me, would so shine before men and women, especially in the midst of their words of fire, that they would recognize something different from my sacrifice of righteousness, your love in me that splashes like water on their words of fire.
Loving my search for joy,