Recently, I’ve been meditating on the following passage from Jesus after listening to the convicting sermon that’s featured below:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [Matt. 16:24 KJV]

We understand the cross symbolizes sacrifice. And in the past, I’ve associated that sacrifice with the forsaking of my evil ways, the crucifying of the old man of sin, and generally just giving up bad stuff. But is that what Christ is saying?

If Christ is the example to follow, as He suggests in this verse, what bad, evil, or sinful thing did He sacrifice when He took up His cross? From His estate in heaven, to the adoration of numberless angels, to His oneness with the Father; for Jesus, the cross represented entirely and exclusively a sacrifice of only GOOD things!

Examining the history of God’s faithful, from Noah to Abraham to John the Baptist to the Apostle Paul and everyone in between, it can be seen that when God calls His people to sacrifice, He is calling us to sacrifice what’s precious and valuable and good. He’s asking for the best.

Moreover, for whom did Christ sacrifice? It surely wasn’t for Himself:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [Romans 5:8 KJV]

The cross represents sacrifice. Yes. But more than that, it represents sacrifice for the benefit of others. You see, in Christ’s call to discipleship, He bids us to be willing to sacrifice the best things in our lives so that others might be saved. Not just our friends and family, mind you, Christ died for us, while we were yet sinners—estranged enemies!

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [Philippians 2:3 KJV]

Surely, there are countless souls yet unreached in heathen lands and in unentered territories that require greater sacrifice from God’s people. We recognize our obligation at AudioVerse to press forward this work in sacrifice to prepare a world for Jesus to come. And we hope you would be willing to partner with us in this work!

However, this next passage reminds me that sometimes sacrifice is needed even in order for us to press together as a people.

Satan is ever seeking to divide the faith and hearts of God's people. He well knows that union is their strength, and division their weakness. It is important and essential that all of Christ's followers understand Satan's devices and with a united front meet his attacks and vanquish him. They need to make continual efforts to press together even if it be at some sacrifice to themselves. [3T 434.4]

I’ll admit that oftentimes it’s easier to sacrifice for an unnamed stranger than it is to sacrifice for the church member who irritates us. Yet just the same, Christ calls us to bear our cross for the sake of others.

So perhaps you will contemplate this question with me today: What good thing am I willing to sacrifice for Jesus in order that someone else might be saved?

Yours in the blessed hope,

Alistair Huong
Executive Director

AudioVerse | PO Box 2288 | Collegedale | TN | 37315