A few years ago, I visited my mom’s hometown on the other side of the world. We stayed at my grandfather’s home where the walls were filled with family photos we had printed and mailed to him over the years. As I looked around, I stumbled upon an old, tattered photo album. Each page had a yellowed holiday card taped to it with handwritten messages in blue ink.

July 1986. Dearest Ma, Keep on reading your Bible. Please teach my son about the love of Christ. I love you. Happy birthday.

December 1992. Dear brother, How are you? Is your job okay? We miss you.

December 1994. Ever Dearest Ma and Pa. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

They were all cards my mother had sent home over the last 40 years. She was in her early twenties when she went to work abroad, leaving her 2-year-old son and new marriage to pave the way for ‘a better life’. It wasn’t until seven years later that she was reunited with my dad and brother for whom she had worked tirelessly to bring to Canada.

I can’t imagine how she mustered the courage to make so many sacrifices. I am still in awe. It brings me to tears to think about what she chose to endure so I could be where I am today… writing this devotional to you. My mother’s sacrifice, as admirable as I find it, gives me just a tiny glimpse of the greatest sacrifice ever made: God’s sacrifice for all of humanity.

My mom had a choice. Jesus had a greater choice. He chose to die for our sins. My mom didn’t know she’d have a daughter when she came to Canada. Before you and I were even conceived or considered by our birth parents, God knew us. God sent Jesus as a sacrifice so we could know him intimately and live in eternal glory with him!

As you reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice for you today, I pray that you are in so much awe that it leads you to praise. Today’s passage reminds us that God wants our sacrifice of thanksgiving, gratitude, and praise. A genuine “thank you” is not much for God to ask of us, is it?

What do we sacrifice when we give God thanks and praise? We sacrifice our pride – we thank God for doing what we could never do on our own. We sacrifice our ego – we thank God because he humbled himself and chose to love the very people he created.

When we compare this sacrifice of thanksgiving to the sacrifice Jesus made for us, it really isn’t much. But it isn’t all that easy, either. A genuine heart filled with thanks is what glorifies God. Reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice for you today and offer him thanksgiving as your sacrifice.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice. I admit that I will never fully understand the price you paid for my sin. I want to spend the rest of my life giving you praise, sacrificing my pride and instead offering you my thanksgiving for your great love for me. Holy Spirit, help me to be in awe of your love for me today. Order my way rightly. Thank you for your salvation. Be glorified in me.

Throughout this Day: Think about the sacrifices you’ve made or ones that others have made. What was given up? What was the goal? How do those earthly sacrifices compare to Jesus’ sacrifice for you? Consider this passage: “He did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness… he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8 NIV)!

Tags: Daily Devotional Psalm 50
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