November 5, 2000
Volume 10, Number 45

What will you sacrifice?

In the New Testament, a common theme of Christian living is personal sacrifice. The apostle Paul said, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1). In this passage, he tells the Romans that they are to be a "Living sacrifice," as opposed to the dead sacrifices of the Old Law. That is, their lives are to be totally consumed in their service to God. Paul exhorted the Corinthian brethren to bring "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). In this way, regardless of where they were or what they were doing, their life could bring glory and honor to God (Matthew 5:13-16; Colossians 3:17).

The Bible also gives us examples of the kinds of sacrifices the first century Christianís made. Some sacrificed physical well being, like Peter, John and James (Acts 3:13-22; Acts 12:1,2). Others sacrificed social standing, like Paul (Philippians 3:1-11). Still others sacrificed a variety of other precious things (Hebrews 11:35:40; Acts 4:34-37), and their long held practices (Acts 19:13-20). In addition, who can count the ones that sacrificed their means to make a living to follow Jesus, as Matthew left his job as a tax collector (Matthew 9:9). Of course, the ultimate sacrifice seen in the New Testament is the sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ. He, being God (John 1:1-14),sacrificed equality with God (Philippians 2:5-8). He, though innocent of any wrong (1 Peter 2:21-24), sacrificed his life for ours (1 Timothy 2:5,6; Titus 2:11-14).

Yet, today the concept sacrificing our wants and needs for Jesus seems to have been lost. It has been replaced with sacrificing Jesus for our wants and needs. Instead of seeking "first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33), we are seeking first our wants, dreams and desires. then, if any of our time, talent or money is left over we will allow it to trickle down to God.

We have plenty of examples that show this is true. Some will come to worship God only if they donít have to work, if they donít have a date, or some sport to play. Consider also the amount of money we spend on ourselves compared to what we spend to broaden the borders of Godís kingdom. Or what of our time? Would we dare compare the time we spend in Bible study, prayer, or teaching the lost to the time we spend watching television or playing with our hobbies? Have you ever stopped to consider that perhaps God has allowed advanced technology to bring us many different time saving devises, so that we could concentrate even more on doing His will (Matthew 7:21). If this is the case, then we are taking the proverbial "extra slack" and hanging ourselves.

Jesus said, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35). We cannot allow the harvest to pass! Can we sacrifice our favorite television shows, sporting events, dates and leisure time to work in the white harvest fields? Can we sacrifice our time to call upon friends and relatives seeking to share with them "the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4)? Honestly, in light of the sacrifices of "so great a cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1) and the sacrifice of Jesus Christís total sacrifice for us (Matthew 27), can we not sacrifice some things for him? What will you sacrifice?

John L. Mustain

Ghana

Jesus once said "I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:35-40).

In Ghana a well can be drilled to provide a village with safe, clean drinking water for @ $ 5,000.00. Bro. Nathaniel Adams told me 205 wells had been drilled to date. So far $1,300.00 has been contributed toward this project.

If you would like to help with this work ...please make your check payable to the "Church of Christ" and mark it "Ghana / well-project" and give to one of the elders. (Online readers can mail donations to: Church of Christ of Venice, Ghana Missions, 4301State Road 776, Venice, FL 34293)

Note: Next summerís Ghana Campaign will be conducted in the Northern Region where many of these well are being drilled.

Ted Wheeler

ďIf Jesus Christ be God and died for me,
then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.Ē

C.T. Studd

A Special Welcome to our Visitors

Please fill out a blue visitor card so that we might have a record of your visit. If needed, there is a nursery available at the rear of the auditorium. Bible classes for all ages are available Sundays at 10:00 am and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM. We hope that you will join us for these studies. Please come and worship with us again soon.

Remember in Prayers:

Smitty Tiller - Cathy Jenson - Naomi Morton - Virginia Law

Andrew Seaman - Leslie Johnson - Walt & Jeanette Thompson

Bill & Jeanne Sherman - Viola Morinier

Web-Site ... Moving soon to... www.venicechurchofchrist.com

News:

 

Building Program: This past week we received our plans from the architect. We also have our permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. After reviewing the architect's plans - we hope to begin getting some bids on the work in the very near future.
Click here for a preview of some of the work that is being done.

Sunday Adult Bible Class: "A Visual Study of the Missionary Journeys of Paul" (10:00 am)

Wednesday Adult Bible Class: "Jeremiah", chapter 30. (6:30 PM)

Sundayís Lessons:

What can we Learn from the Faithfulness of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-13)

A Killer is Converted ... #1 (Acts 9:1-9)

Service Opportunities

Time of Services

Announcements:

Wayne Vowell

Sunday

Ushers:

Walt Thompson

Bible Study:

10:00 am

Morning Services

Worship:

11:00 am

Bible Reading:

Dick Navarre

Evening Worship:

6:00 pm

Songs:

Jim Treece

Monday

Sermon:

Ted Wheeler

Ladies Bible Class:

11:00 am.

Closing Prayer:

James Bowman

Wednesday

Evening Services

Bible Study:

6:30 pm

Opening Prayer:

Glen Law

Songs:

Jim Treece

Our Record - Last Week

Sermon:

Ted Wheeler

Closing Prayer:

Charlie White

Attendance:
89

Communion

Contribution:
$ 1832.00
Carl Rigney
Weekly Budget:
$ 1500.00
Mike Weber
Don Douglas
Weekly Average (yr):
TBA

Kerry Keathley

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