Most people do not equate sacrifice with joy, but it is possible to combine the two. It is especially possible for followers of Jesus because our very redemption was made possible by the ultimate sacrifice at the cross.
For the past few weeks, I have been encouraging our church to give a sacrificial offering to help repair some vital parts of our campus. We are also taking 20% of the funds and investing in the poor and needy of our city. Because of the economy, many people will only be able to give a small amount and that will be a real sacrifice. Others can give large gifts and that will also be a sacrifice. The most important thing any of us can give God is our heart. That is the real miracle of sacrificial giving.
Pam and I have given sacrificially in the past and we now realize that a great deal of our spiritual maturity and growth came during these times of giving what I call “painful offerings.” The last stronghold in most of our hearts is finances. Mammon tells us we need more money and that more money could solve our problems. Of course, what all of us need is not more money, but more of God.
This weekend, I am most interested in the transformation of people’s hearts, not just the renovation of a building. We are eternal beings, buildings are temporary. Pam and I will pray, and ask God for an amount to give. Most likely, the amount will require a great deal of faith for us to actually give it. The joy comes when we obey and allow Him to change us from the inside out.