I love to preach. I love everything about it. I love the studying. I love the preparation. I love the presenting. I love the rapport with the congregation. Every week when I begin to put together the sermon for the week, I pray that God will challenge me and teach me. I figure that the best way to convey a challenge to a congregation is to have dealt with the challenge myself. It makes the message more authentic and I desire to be transparent with those to whom I am speaking.
This week God certainly answered that prayer and on the Monday following the preaching of that message, I am still dealing with the subject matter.
I preached this past Sunday from John 12 where Mary anoints Jesus with the perfume. I challenged our people that giving is an important part of our worship. I talked about the way that we give of our time, talents and resources indicate our level of worship and commitment to living a life of worship.
The points of the sermon were simple. 1. Everything we have comes from God! 2. We should give out of a heart of gratitude! 3. Our giving should cost us something!
So I find myself having to confess that I may say I worship Jesus with my mouth, and I probably “do” more than a lot of people in regards to my time and talents (I am a pastor after all), and I even give of my resources to a certain extent…I wonder how much of any of what I do or give actually costs me anything. Man, this is tough.
So I confess to you who are reading this that I have not come close to worshiping God by sacrificing. Very little of what I do costs me anything. I am struggling with this reality because when I begin to live Romans 12:1 in my marriage and as a father and especially as a pastor, life is about to get difficult. But I also realize that there is no other option. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
I have been bought by the blood of Christ. His sacrifice cost Him EVERYTHING! How can I live a lackluster life any longer.
Pray for me on this journey to become more sacrificial in my life-worship. I pray that I will give till it hurts, just like Mary did or even greater than that – like Jesus did. I will pray for you too!