Complete Sacrifice - Giving The First

Series: Other Speakers

Sun am 20 April 2014 – Shane Egypt

Luke 12:1-14, 25-28; Luke 9:59-60; Num. 6:2, 7; Heb. 7:16; (Matt. 6:33);
John 21:15; Rev. 2:1-5; Eph. 4:13; (Matt. 26:39); (Matt. 13:44); Gal. 4:18

The people were trampling one another to hear Jesus. Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” (Luke 12:13). Jesus’ response was somewhat insensitive, but this question shows what was in the man’s heart even after hearing all Jesus’ sayings. The parable continues with a story of a man who did things only for himself.

He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-60). A strange response! He needed to consecrate his life to the Lord, live a life of denial, separated unto the Lord. That is similar to the life of a Nazarite. “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the Lord (Num. 6:2).  ‘All the days of his separation to the Lord he shall not go near to a dead person. 7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head (Num. 6:6-7). This was a vow they had to make.

We are always locked into a mindset, “What do I have to give up?” It is a mindset of carnality and the flesh. It prevents us from seeing what we are gaining; that which is more excellent, a higher form of life, the spiritual and eternal. You can find out for yourself what it is that prevents you from making a full commitment and a complete sacrifice. If I gain the spiritual and eternal, the Lord will take care of that which is natural.

The indestructible life is what the kingdom is all about (Heb. 7:16). Seek first the kingdom of God and all other things will be added to you (Matt. 6:33). What is supposed to be first? There is a power at work in this life, based on the things of a higher form of life, the eternal life. It is a migration from being a child to being a young man and then to being a father. It is from the outer court to the holy place to the holy of holies.

The letter to the church in Ephesus says, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent (Rev. 2:4-5). Do the deeds you did at first!

He continued this subject with his disciples. “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more” (Luke 12:22-The Message). What do we fuss about? What is first in our life? Are we focused on what we have to give up? If you weigh it, the natural is so insignificant in comparison to the spiritual. That which we gain is so much more excellent, and if we gain that, we will also gain the natural, because God will take care of it. This is a proclamation of an indestructible life, the kingdom of God. What is the measurement of this inner life? It is the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). What do we fuss about? God takes care of those things. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! (Luke 12:28). Seek for His kingdom first, and all these things will be added to you. Let us live a life of the spirit, that which is part of His kingdom. Forget about the lower form of life and the natural. We are going to lose the natural things if our focus is only on the natural things. If we focus on the spiritual things God will provide the natural things. A complete sacrifice is necessary for the preservation of the higher life. Christ, who has done it for us, who has given His all, will not expect you to do what He was not prepared to do. In the garden of Gethsemane He said, “Not my will but Your will be done” (Matt. 26:39). He knew what He had to do and He gave it all. God gave His first and His only, completely, without reservation and unconditionally.

We can be easily surrounded by the natural, the things which take priority in our lives. There is to be a hunger and search for things in the heavens, which are of the spirit. Like the woman with the jar of perfume, she sacrificed, broke and anointed Jesus. She was not concerned with the value of the ointment. Like the man who discovered the pearl in the field, it is a discovery of the kingdom of God and because he had discovered it, he bought the whole field (Matt. 13:44).

Let us search our hearts and find out what the priority in our lives really is. We will lose both the higher and the lower life; the natural and the spiritual, the temporal and the eternal if we are not prepared to make the complete sacrifice. Let us hunger for this higher form of life, the spiritual life.