Sunday, July 26, 2009

More on What Matters

I was doing some thinking in church this morning and wanted to expand on what I had posted earlier about what matters. The Gospel in church this morning was the feeding of the 5000. The priest was talking about how Jesus had just been on one side of the lake with his disciples where the people had been pressing in on Him and now He was heading to the other side of the lake for some time alone. He went across the lake and the people went around the lake and met him on the other side. It would have been very easy for Him to say, no, I can't talk right now, I need some time to myself. Instead, he proceeded to do the very thing the people wanted him to do: Preach some more on the scriptures. It got me thinking about sacrifice and the things I said in "What Matters" a few weeks back. I talked about how we all get so caught up in little things that aren't really important and let those things hold us back from what we should really be focusing on. I started thinking a step further. When someone does something nice for you, say brings you something you've been needing or watches your kids for you for a short time or something like that, doesn't it mean so much more to you when they have to really sacrifice something in order to do that? Like if someone brings you a meal after you've had a baby or a death in the family or something, that's always something someone has to do extra, but it means just a little more if they had to go really far out of their way to bring it to you, or if they have small children at home where it's harder to do extra things like that. Or if someone stops by to cheer you up when you know they have other things to do or they don't live nearby. It just means more when a sacrifice is involved on the other person's part. So when we do the things that God wants us to do, it's always gonna be special to Him. But wouldn't it be more of a blessing for you and for Him if you really had to sacrifice your worldly wants in order to follow His will for you? It brings me back to the parable in the temple where the wealthy men were bragging about how much money they'd left in the offering plate, and then the widow came by and gave up all the money she had in the world. Those men did do a great thing by giving lots of money, but they still had plenty so it wasn't much of a sacrifice for them. The one that Jesus was really impressed with (if He even gets impressed) was the one who gave everything. She didn't give much, but she made a big sacrifice to give what she did. The sacrifice is what made it more special.

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