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Updated: Mar 27

“Sacrificial prayer”... “a sacrificial life”…. How many times have we heard those lines and stopped to contemplate what it is we are hearing?

Sometimes, especially as moms and wives, the word SACRIFICE can seem like a curse word because our whole lives are centred around meeting the needs of those around us. Sacrifice, sacrifice, and more sacrifice can seem to envelop us and bring a hopelessness with the knowledge that yet another person wants a piece of us.

To remain a sacrificial person, we really need to understand what it means and what we are required to give, otherwise we will be women whose sacrifices will be determined by the needs of those around us, not by the Voice inside of us. We will live from the outside in, not from the inside out – led by our amazing Father through His Holy Spirit. Honestly, there are people who are not sacrificial by nature and if this is you, you also need to be able to start living from the inside out – listening to what your Loving Father is requiring from you, and not escaping into what you are comfortable with. All of us are in the Potter’s hands, being moulded more and more into the image of Jesus.

So, let’s look at Jesus. If He is the One we want to become like, then He should be our plumbline. His life and His choices are the building blocks of the standard we want to strive for.

Rom 8:29 (NKJV):

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

God predestined us to become like Jesus and He remains our King, the One we want to be like and act like.

Here are some questions:

1) Did Jesus live a life of sacrifice?

Yes, absolutely: His commitment to sacrifice was tested when He had to die on a cross. He was completely innocent – He did not have to pay that price or be cursed on that cross, but He did it because He was willing to sacrifice His life to give us life.

1 John 4:10 (ESV):

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.

2) Did Jesus call us to sacrifice?

I think so, yes, when He asked His followers to take up their cross. Taking up His cross means that we take up that life of sacrifice. We become willing to live beyond our own glory (Jesus gave up the glory of Heaven to come to earth for us). We are willing to live beyond our own comfort, our own self-centredness.

3) Is it easy to sacrifice?

I think the answer to that is NEVER (well, at least not for me). If we look at how Jesus was in so much anguish the night before his trial that He sweated blood, then I take from that that sacrifice can be very difficult.

4) Should we always sacrifice and where do we draw the line?

I think we need to first be honest about who we are. We are all sinful and we all fall short of the glory of God, which is why we need to believe in Jesus to enter eternal life. If we think that we are okay, a people without fault, then we will only rely on our own standards of what we need to do and not do. If I am a servant by gifting, then I will automatically sacrifice more than someone who is not. We all need to bring our hearts to the Plumbline, Jesus, and line them up with what He models and wants for us.

5) Is it possible to sacrifice too much?

Yes. Why do I say so? When we look at the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42, we see that although Martha’s heart was to serve – and remember she was serving JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES, important people – Jesus commended Mary for just sitting at His feet. Jesus retreated to quiet places throughout His ministry to recharge and spend time praying, no matter that the needs around Him, quite likely, were overwhelming!

6) Is it possible to sacrifice too little?

Yes. The rich young ruler in Matthew 19 was not willing to sell all that he had. Jesus recommended that to him and he just could not do it. The word says the rich young man walked away sorrowful, because he could not sacrifice what Jesus asked him to sacrifice.

The last question is then:

7) How do we know when we are sacrificing enough – not too much and not too little?

This is a difficult question, because it will be different for every person. Every person is allocated a portion, a talent or talents, and what is required is that we do not bury it in the ground, but work with it (Matt 25). This will not look the same in each person’s life. We can never walk away from the basic discipline of Jesus-followers, the discipline of hearing God speak to us. How can we be disciplined if it is God who needs to speak – that doesn’t sound right? WE need to position ourselves to HEAR what He says. This happens by us being in His word, seeing His plumbline, getting rid of our burdens through prayer and then listening to His guidance for us.

Our lives need to be governed by Him. He will lead us gently because He promises in His word that He will never quench us. He is not a hard taskmaster but a gentle Father. He loves us and when we sacrifice, there is a promise attached to it – He will reward us! Another promise is that when we sacrifice in secret, doing those mundane things that no-one else notices, He notices and He will reward us openly.

God recently encouraged me with this. He said:

Faithfulness is tested in the mundane.

I know I do many things that people neither see nor are aware of, but I remind myself – especially when I get tired – that God sees. He sees: His Strength can become my strength and nothing, absolutely nothing, escapes Him. May this encourage us to take up our cross and follow Him faithfully, until the end.



Women of Reverence welcomes our contributor Liesl Mare.

Liesl and her husband lead Die Akker Kerk, in Johannesburg. She is a mom to four children and loves serving her family. Liesl is a Bible Teacher, Speaker and Mentor. She is available to be booked for events and church preaching and or speaking engagements.

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