There’s power in sacrifice


A woman is walking around at the CIA command center somewhere overseas. They’ve been tracking a rogue agent and are hot on his trail. Her cellphone rings.

“Pamela Landy,” she says.

“This is Jason Bourne,” the caller says.

They go on to exchange important spy-like details and cleverly written dialogue. He wants to meet. She says it can be arranged. He says he wants the girl who worked in the old office to be the one to be there. She says she’ll have to work to find her.

“Shouldn’t be too hard,” Bourne says. “She’s standing right next to you.”

HA! He’s been watching from across the street the whole time! The whole room erupts in chaos as they try to find where Bourne is and how this one guy they’ve been trying to track found them instead.

The Bourne trilogy gets me fired up. I love that type of movie. There’s something inside that just loves to see Jason Bourne take out the bad guy and win. It’s powerful. It’s awesome. It’s sexy.

But then I hit a challenge. I love seeing people win – I love seeing the bad guy get put in his/her place. But the way of Jesus says we win by dying.

That’s not sexy. It doesn’t have that same ring to it. Doesn’t give you that “yeah! You get ’em Jason!” feeling in your gut, does it?

But that’s the message of the Bible. We win by dying.

Did you get that? We win by dying.

Do you know someone who has been to church – maybe even grew up in church – but now has nothing to do with anything Christian?

Why does this happen? You can find people who have been a part of everything from the most relevant, rockin’ mega church to the smallest, most intimate discipling gathering who have drifted away and decided this Jesus thing didn’t really matter.

We’re not even talking about the people who aren’t following God because they’ve never heard! Somehow, for some reason, these folks have chosen either intentionally or unintentionally to just plug away at life – knowing the Jesus stories and deciding they’re nothing more than just stories.

They’ve heard the information. But something’s still missing.

There’s one thing that cuts through everything else. One thing I’ve seen make a difference in people’s lives who have said, “It’s not for me.” It’s sacrifice. Nothing – absolutely nothing – rings truer in the lives of people who are far from God than the lives of people who have given up their lives, comfort or position because they believe Jesus really is Lord.

It’s amazing to see what happens when an individual or group really gets to the point where they can say, “God came to earth as a man. He lived among us, showed us how to live, and died in a historic act that can save us right now and for forever. I believe that when God comes to earth and tells us something, what he says matters. And I believe it so much, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to obey and follow him.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m typically not there. Most of us Christians blend into society – seeking the same things as everyone else. We want comfort, convenience, and respect. We want to be liked and be seen as cool. None of those things are bad when they come our way. But when we spend all our time seeking them, we’re missing the point.

Here’s a guarantee. Giving something up for God and doing what he says will make more of a difference in the lives of those people who aren’t following God than any invite to another church service ever will. Both may be best. But a lot of people are moderately informed about Christianity. They just haven’t seen a lot of it.

Sacrifice may not feel sexy, but that’s really the point. The power of God goes beyond perfect lives where everyone is happy and has a shiny new car because they love God. God’s love causes us to give beyond what we’d ever give on our own. And that service, sacrifice, and love speaks volumes to a world that desperately need to hear and see the truth.

How do you feel about sacrifice?

2 responses to “There’s power in sacrifice”

  1. Great post Jon. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and since we just saw the latest Bourne movie last night, those images were fresh in my mind.

    Sacrifice is not easy. And the funny thing is that my sacrifice pales in comparison to Christ’s, yet I allow myself to be decieved into thinking that I’m doing so much. I have really been struggling through some inner conflicts with what God has called us to do and you’re right, our sacrifice is not sexy and it is not comfortable. But it is good, stretching and hopefully it will bring more glory to God than to myself.

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