UPDATE TO THIS BLOG POST AT BELOW
What is the best way for me to understand sacrifice?
Watching movies about Jesus? I thought "Passion of The Christ" was powerful, gruesome, brutal, bloody and compelling but most movies about Jesus can be just plain silly. The actor that plays Jesus wears a clean, glowing white robe and he looks like he might have been a California surfer.
Listening to sermons about sacrifice? (Warning: Broad Sweeping Statement Follows) The pastor gives a sermon on "sacrifice" and "digging down deep" during the "new building campaign". Immediately following the sermon, the pastor and his family leave the church in a brand new, black, extremely shiny Cadillac SUV (I love the fact that my pastor has an extremely crappy old van but more about that later).
Watching "Jesus" flicks and listening to sermons dripping in "sacrifice" don't ring my bell like someone who is living, breathing and actually doing sacrificial acts. Yesterday I heard about a skydiving instructor who sacrificed his body for one of his students. Over the weekend in Florida, a plane crashed into a family's home while they were eating breakfast. The father made sure his family was safe and then rushed to the plane that crashed into his home to see if he could save the passengers. Another sacrificial act hit closer to home. This past Sunday my Pastor Tom Nelson played a living, breathing role in an extremely real reality show called "Grand Theft Auto Evangelism".
A stranger walked into church Sunday morning while Pastor Tom and others were preparing for services. The stranger asked Tom for cab fare. Instead Tom gave the stranger his van to use for the day. The verbal agreement was "use my van and bring it back when you're finished". Long story short that was Sunday and today is Wednesday. The stranger and the van have not returned. Pastor Tom's van is a clunker or as I like to say, "piece of crap". Even if Tom had a new, shiny SUV and God led him to do it I'm pretty sure that the story would have played out the same. Here is something else I know about my Pastor. He won't take one ounce of the glory. He'll give the glory to God instead.
God changes the hearts of men and then compels them to make sacrifices for others. Will you and I be obedient to His call or will we make Christ followers look shallow, selfish and comfortable? Many have heard the Gospel. Very few have actually seen the Gospel in action. What will you and I do today to show the Gospel to others through sacrificial acts? When we make a sacrifice will we give God the glory or put ourselves in the spotlight?
"You can learn a lot about a person by watching how they treat strangers."
"Christians love evangelism as long as someone else is doing it."--Ed Stetzer
Pastor Tom's sacrifice made it to the Daytona Beach News Journal. Click here to read the story.
Thurs. May 20th, 6:50 PM. Pastor Tom just tweeted: "Police just called. Astro (the van) phoned home! A block from the church." Follow Pastor Tom on Twitter by clicking here.