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Sharing Sacrificially

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:16

            From a very early age parents have a tendency to teach their children these two things: to do good and to share. As a child in my public elementary school, I distinctly recall the “Golden Rule” poster strategically placed on the detention room wall: “Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated” (I became familiar with many a poster staring at the wall in this room). It wasn’t until later in life that I was brought to the realization that this poster was missing a reference at the bottom of Luke 6:31, and that those words were the words of Christ.

            As a child, I found the simple command to do good and to share what I had was not something that came naturally. In fact, it seemed as though doing the opposite came most naturally. Interestingly, Hebrews 13:16 tells us that doing good and sharing what we have are sacrifices that are pleasing to God, reminding us of the sacrifices of the Old Testament. One of the key characteristics of the sacrifices of the Law of Moses is that they were costly. For example, an adult bull in good condition today can be worth $5,000 - $10,000 and instead of selling that bull and keeping the money, they were to give it up and sacrifice it on the altar.

            Now, if you are a sinner like myself (spoiler alert: you are), you do not naturally desire to give costly things up. But God in His extraordinary love and mercy for us has made the highest sacrifice of all time: the sacrifice of His only Son on the cross for our redemption. Our only hope of pleasing God is through faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for my transgressions. In His resurrection and exaltation, He sends the Holy Spirit to all who trust in His sacrifice.

            What does the Holy Spirit do? By His sanctifying presence, he causes us to walk by faith in doing the things we naturally cannot: doing good and sharing what we have sacrificially through faith in Christ who sacrificed himself for us.

            This summer we have the privilege of partnering with Mennonite Disaster Services (MDS) in the rebuilding of homes in our community. As we look forward to this exciting partnership in providing for practical needs may the Holy Spirit demonstrate his power in us by doing good and sharing what we have sacrificially both with MDS and with our neighbors, for such sacrifices are pleasing to Him. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20).


In His Service,

Pastor Scott