Often when we tell people what we are preparing to do we hear things like, “wow, what a sacrifice”, “thank you for your sacrifice”, “I could never sacrifice like that”, “your sacrifice encourages me”, “giving to this effort is the least we can do for the sacrifice you guys are making”. The funny thing is we don’t consider what we are doing as a sacrifice. It’s a joy! Our joy comes from Christ, not worldly things. So it’s no sacrifice at all what we are doing…at least we don’t think so.
Paul states it much more eloquently than we can in Philippians 3:7-16 when he says:
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Christ saved us. Christ is our sufficiency in all things. It is because he saved us that we desire to share that message. It is because he saved us that do what we do…not sacrificially but joyfully!
We join Paul in saying “But one thing we do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…”