The Other Side of Sacrifice

Pastor Jason shares the story of a 12Stone family, who were led by God to do something significant for a complete stranger. God stirred their hearts to sacrifice to send an unnamed student, who didn’t know Jesus and couldn’t afford to go on their own, to “Never The Same” camp.

The family made budget cuts to bless this student with what could be a life-changing experience. And it was! They received word the student learned about the rescuing hand of God in a camp service and accepted Jesus.

God used their sacrifice of several hundred dollars to do something that changed all of eternity for one young person — all the while, marking the family with playing a part in an enormous blessing.

Day 2: Where you get the ability to love

Read: 1 John 4:7-21

What if I get hurt?

What if they take advantage of me?

I’ve tried helping before, and it didn’t do any good.

For all of the reasons we avoid letting people into our lives or getting involved in theirs, John gives us one good reason we should. It’s what God did for each of us.

When we were uninterested in God, He pursued us. God sent His only Son into the world so our sin could be removed and our relationship could be restored (1 John 4:10-12).

When we realize the depth of God’s love, it changes us. We want to spend time with Him, to know Him. We find joy in bringing Him joy. And after a while, we become so familiar with His character that we know what He would say or have us do. Like a couple that’s been together for decades, we begin to move in sync with one another (1 John 4:13-15).

That’s why the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us. God is love. When we are living in step with God, love is what comes out of us. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals Himself to others through us, and His love is made complete.

God knows better than anyone that love can be costly. We might get hurt, and people might take advantage of us. But the way to quiet those fears is not by retreating. We get past the fear of putting ourselves out there by remembering God’s love and choosing to treat others the way He treated us.

Reflect:

  • Who were you when you asked Jesus into your life? How has your life changed since then?
  • How would you describe the way God has loved you?
  • When it comes to loving others that way, are you retreating in fear or reaching out in faith?

Article courtesy of NewSpring

Ridiculously Life Changing – Jeff Foxworthy & Wayne Cook’s Story

Famous comedian, actor, and author Jeff Foxworthy credits Wayne Cook, who he met at the Atlanta Mission, for changing his life forever.

“I was experiencing homelessness but I was living hopelessness, which is something that is way more severe and required a lot more attention than I realized,” says Cook. After trying to intimidate his small group leaders to get them to stop showing up, he finally accepted their love and attention… and snacks!