Sacrifice For Eternal Purposes
By Lois J. Stucky
It has been a blessing to prepare the article concerning Brother Hilker, a former Herald worker. (A Good Soldier Gone To His Rest). It has brought back memories of Brother and Sister Moore and the dedicated co-workers who carried the load of the Herald ministry in years gone by. They were workers who seemed not to know that the world had a quitting time. And as for a starting time, the rising sun often found them wrapped in a blanket against the early morning coolness, pouring out their hearts to God in prayer.
They were saints totally caught up in serving the Lord and His people. Sacrifices were continually being made with very little thought of it. Ought not any devoted Christian hesitate to speak of sacrifice in the light of Calvary?
Saints like this have passed on an invaluable heritage to the generation of this hour. Are we doing likewise for the coming generations?
It is disturbing to read in Jim Reapsome's column in PULSE that, "Newspaper editors and television news producers foresee a dim future for their products, unless they can somehow reverse the prevalent 'I don't care' attitude among those aged 18 to 30. Things are so bad among these people that their age bracket has been labeled the 'age of indifference.' "
It is concluded by some that this important segment of our population care very little about what is going on in the world, at least not enough to watch world news on TV or read newspapers – unless it concerns an issue that closely affects them. "They know less and they care less than any previous generation," is the indictment.
Is this true of Christian young people also? If so, says Reapsome, the church and missionary leaders need to concentrate on converting their hearts and minds "from indifference to passionate concern for the world." There may be those reading this who are involved with young people, and this might prove a helpful guideline to you.
And ought we not to be setting a good example in our practices? Ought we not to live an I-do-care life style? It is easy to agree in spirit fully with the wholeheartedness that the Bible exhorts us to in our living for the Lord, but in actual daily life, the flesh is often too weak to put it into practice.
We do well to check up on ourselves. Unless we are already doing our "dead level best," it would do us good to ask the Lord to show us some way we could put some sacrifice into an area of our life where ease and convenience rule.
Is there a time that normally fills up with casual things that have little bearing on eternity that could be devoted instead faithfully every week to prayer?
Can we sacrifice an hour or two or more of sleep a week in order to give that time to prayer? Can we cut out some unnecessary spending of our means in order to invest a little more in the work of the Lord? Can we fast a meal or eat only enough for needed strength and instead seek God?
Can we make it a point to always carry tracts with us, ready to hand out when divinely given opportunities come? Can we make sure that sometime during the week we write at least a note to some shut-in who needs cheering, or to a lost soul who needs salvation? A telephone call might substitute for writing.
It may be a little thing we undertake, but it will send a signal to God that we do care enough to make some extra effort (dare we call it sacrifice?) for Him. Personal blessing is not the motive in this. This is for the benefit of others. But personal blessing could well come from it. When we draw near to God because He is dear to us and we want to share in that which concerns Him – He draws near to us. And when God draws near, that is rich blessing!
Philippians 2:20 and 21 is a searching word from the Apostle Paul. Concerning Timothy he says: "I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." What are we seeking?
Time is passing by so rapidly that unless we exercise more discipline, there might accumulate on our record many good intentions, placed in our heart by the Holy Spirit – that were never fulfilled. Might we ever be looking to the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us to do what He bids us do. We do not know the inner life of others as He does. Some bidding of His which we slight over or put off to a more convenient time – might be a very crucial thing in that person's eternal destiny! Oh, God, help us to be faithful and obedient!
And let us uphold all young people whom we see whose lives are in sharp contrast to others of the "I don't care" generation. There are those risking literally everything to take the Gospel to hard-to-reach areas where their very lives are in danger. They deserve our wholehearted support. Let's not let them down!