Is there gain without pain?

Sacrifice…it is a dirty word in most circumstances. Our society prides itself on creature comforts. We work day to night in order to afford the niceties in life. We make sure that we live in as little discomfort or pain as possible. Nothing wrong with any of it. Except that when it comes to a time to make a sacrifice, we are reluctant, slow, and unsure of how, when, or if to do it. In a weird way the Iraq war has shown us anew what sacrifice can do and mean. When I saw the Iraqi woman consoling the dead Marines’ Mom at the State of the Union it hit me all over how sacrifice can change the world.

Are we willing to live for ONE DAY? Are we willing to take the steps necessary to be ready for that one moment when God chooses to use us? One life shortly lived yet completely sacrificed is the ultimate in living. Think of Jesus’ short three years. I am not talking about being a martyr. I am talking about giving our total self each day in honor of what God has done for us and what God wants to do in our world.

May our prayer be this each day: Lord, this day I deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. Bring before my path those who you want to touch. Give me courage to act totally without pride and selfish ambition. Your will. Your love. Your compassion. Your mercy be my guiding light. Amen.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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