Monday, September 27, 2010


the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.  (

Last night I was challenged.  Our Life Group met and continued our discussion on "sacrifice."  Thought-provoking points.  Sacrifice of time, energy, resources, finances, etc...  Aren't we called to this?  What does it look like?  Why do we do it?  To what extent...

I'm faced with the reality that we are wealthy.  Only a few months ago, I would have argued we were poor according to American standards.  But, the reality is, we are filthy rich!  I've become convicted that financial prosperity doesn't mean more blessing - it means more responsibility.   In the parable Jesus tells about the rich young ruler, we represent the character of the rich young ruler.  What is the condition of our hearts?  Are we willing to give everything up in order to follow Jesus?  Is that His will for us?  In this story, Jesus' concern is the condition of the Ruler's heart.  His sin is his holding on to his established wealth.

When we began this adoption journey, I did not know the actual total cost.  When I see the actual figure, it makes my head spin.  Fear has crept in from time to time and I've questioned the certainty of God's provision. "Oh, Lord help my unbelief," has been my heart's cry.  Now that we are approaching the final destination of this journey, bringing Overcomer home, I find myself looking for things to part with to help finance what is remaining.  What earthly belongings can we sell if it's needed?  God has brought to mind some significant items, and I've recognized the state of my heart is now, "Whatever it takes, Lord.  Whatever it takes."

Perhaps God will call us to do this, perhaps not.  However, I'm aware of the drastic change in my heart.  A willingness to part with things I would have kept only a few months ago.   How did this happen?  What influenced this flip of my heart?

Continual awareness of an overabundance of earthy treasures in our home pushes me to let go of more worldly things for more of a life lived for Jesus.  As I sit down for one of my three meals a day, I hurt wondering if Overcomer has enough food to sustain him.  Will his needed diet be provided?  Will someone love him today?  Will he smile?  Will he know God is with him?  Will he be comforted if he cries?  And, what about the millions of other orphaned children around the world?  What about them?  What about our brothers and sisters going without food?  Without water?  Without their simple daily needs being met?  What about them?

Can I continue to turn a blind eye?  Pretend it's not my responsibility?  Not my role on earth to care for the poor and needy?  Too drastic for our family to sacrifice for a stranger?  For a child of God?  Isn't the reality that I am called to be the hands and feet of Jesus?  What does that really look like?

Last night, Sydney gave us a gift.  She made us magnets with Godwin's name.  I cried.  It is the first thing we have with his Beebe family name on it!  When we arrived home, Weston immediately ran upstairs and placed them on the refrigerator!  A continual reminder to pray for him.  (Sydney is selling these magnets to buy her next plane ticket to Ghana.  Would you consider helping her go to Feed the Orphans?)

On our way home from Life Group, we also picked up a toddler bed God provided through another adopting family, the Littles.  (God even provided a mattress for the toddler bed this morning at church!  Thanks Resie and Ryan!)   As we loaded the bed into the van, we realized that coming home with everyone would be difficult.  For the ride home, Mason had to lay under the bed while Braden rode on Franklin's lap.  Our four kids were squished and scrunched.  Quite comical!

As I looked at the boys in their uncomfortable state, I realized this 25 minute car ride was a picture of sacrifice.  A willingness to be uncomfortable for a period of time.  Because any discomfort is only for a period of time - not eternity.  Each of the boys gave up their own well-being without complaint knowing it would benefit their younger brother.  Shouldn't I also willingly part with indulgence to help another for Christ?  Shouldn't my eyes be on my life in eternity rather than easy daily living?

Scottish pastor, Robert Murray M'Cheyne summed this up in the early 19th century when he said, "I am concerned for the poor, but more for you.  I know not what Christ will say to you in the great day...I fear there are many hearing me who may know well that they are not Christians because they do not love to give.  To give largely and liberally, not grudgingly at all, requires a new heart; an old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money.  Oh my friends!  Enjoy your money; make the most of it; give none away; enjoy it quickly for I can tell you, you will be beggars throughout eternity."

Ouch!  Let me stop and pray here...

Francis Chan writes in Crazy Love, "The reality is that, whether we acknowledge our wealth or not, being rich is a serious disadvantage spiritually.  As William Wilburforce once said, "Prosperity hardens the heart." (p.90)

Lord, keep my heart soft to do whatever you ask with a joyful heart.  Let me be like Zacchaeus who followed you completely with regard to his wealth.  Let me approach the throne of grace aware of your forgiveness for the things I have placed above you.  Let me move forward with joy and expectation - not guilt.  Let us steward well, and to Your Glory, all that you have provided for our family.  Everything we have belongs to you.  Let us continually bring our first-fruits and not leftovers before your holy throne.  You alone are worthy of all glory, and honor, and praise.  We love you!  - Amen

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13:15-16
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PS - As I've been typing, Braden has been downstairs dividing up his beloved Legos.  He just called upstairs, "Mom, I've found the few Legos I want to keep.  I'm giving the rest to Godwin."  Even a six year old understands...

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