A good friend once told me, “We say we would die for Christ, but what about simply living for Him?” That phrase has stuck with me ever since.

The rich man knew in his heart that something was missing and so he went to Jesus for an answer. Jesus’ response was not what he wanted to hear. He wanted to be pointed to an outward action that would relieve his conscience, without addressing the real issue: his heart. But the answer Jesus gave him uncovered exactly what needed to be dealt with: the fact that the man wasn’t ready to leave everything to follow Christ. He wasn’t ready to sacrifice the things that made him successful in the eyes of the world for an eternity with the true living God.

Every day, we come face to face with opportunities to take on things that lead us away from God. They may be obvious distractions or more subtle. Busyness often slips passed us and makes us slaves to activities that drain us and rob us of an abundant life of close fellowship with God. The beauty of sacrifice is being able to say “No” to yet another thing, and surrender that time and energy to God. He has the power to multiply the fruit of our hands. None of our human efforts could ever compete with that.

Father, only you see our hearts. Teach us how to be obedient to you today. You know what my current struggles are. Give me faith to trust you, and to let go of what must go. Show me your will clearly and draw me close to you. Help me make Jesus the center of my life. I surrender myself to you. Amen.

Go deeper — if something stands between God and you, it stands against the best God has for you. Ask God to help you let go of anything that stands in the way.

Tags: sacrifice Matthew 19
Photo Credit: Elaine Casap