Have you sacrificed anything lately?  No, I don’t mean that steak or veggie burger you grilled last night!   What have you given up or done without?  I can honestly say that I haven’t really had to sacrifice too much in my pretty comfortable life. I am one lucky gal.

But this week I am with a group of students 11-14 years old on a mission trip to the Wind River Reservation in central Wyoming.   These students, their families and my adult co-leaders are getting a taste of sacrifice this week.  Here’s a brief example.

The students have given up:                                                     1 • their electronics (cell phones, ipods, computers, tv’s)
• their bedrooms, beds, and bathrooms
• life with in close contact with their family and friends
• sleeping in and a lot of free time

Their families have given up:
• financial support for the students to participate on the trip
• control and contact with their kids

My adult co-leaders have given up:
• privacy
• their bedrooms, beds and bathrooms
• control over their schedule
• a week of work

While these things might not be “big” sacrifices, none-the-less they are real to each individual and a great opportunity to practice the spiritual discipline of sacrifice.  In Romans 12:1, Paul writes:
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

In my Life with God Bible, there is a comment from Richard Foster on this verse.  He says that the problem with a “living sacrifice” is that it always wants to get off the altar.  On a scale of 1 to 10 (“easy” to “hard”), rank the difficulty you think you would have in giving your entire being—thoughts, words, and actions-to God.  As you go about your work this week, make every effort to dedicate everything you think, say, or do to God.  How often did you want to get off the altar?

May our practices of “little” sacrifices strengthen us to go all in with our whole being for God.


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