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The Making of a Disciple June 2024 Designed by Freepik www.freepik.com

Keeping the goal of pleasing the Lord above pleasing yourself takes a lot of sacrifice

The Making of a Disciple
The Definition of “Making” – Part VII

Scripture Reading: John 15:1-17

Key Verse: John 15:4
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

In yesterday’s devotional, we looked at the idea of “striking our bodies” like the Apostle Paul so we can keep pleasing the Lord as the top goal in our lives.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our culture has gotten us used to pleasing ourselves and wanting more than we have as being the most important thing.

Paul is a great model of contentment in the Lord Jesus:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (in Philippians 4:12)

This lesson is not easy to learn. Some do not see contentment as even a goal. Far too many modern Christians have bought into the idea that God wants us rich in earthly wealth and healed of all sicknesses. These people say that if a Christ-follower does not have wealth and health, they do not have enough faith.

I asked a pastor who preached this “health and wealth, name it and claim it” message why Paul left behind a fellow worker sick (2 Timothy 4:20). This pastor believed that Paul did not have the faith he should have had at that moment.

There are too many examples of great Christ-followers who are poor or sick to believe that God wants everyone rich and healed.

The idea of sacrifice is not as common as earlier generations. God wants us to sacrifice:

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)

Romans 12:1 points Christ-followers to a life of sacrifice:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

It may seem foreign to many Christians, but the goal of pleasing the Lord above pleasing ourselves requires sacrificing our own desires.

In the next few devotionals, I hope to convince you that a life of sacrifice is abundant and far better than selfish living.

Father, I offer myself to You as a living sacrifice. I am willing to deny myself the sinful pleasures of this world. I need Your help to do this. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.