God is love. Love is sacrifice. Serving God is sacrifice.
Do we desire to serve God? Wait, this question is a very serious question. How serious? Very serious, because serving God takes a lot of sacrifice. And sacrificing for something we believe is not that easy. It takes a lot of love to do it.
Apostle Paul says, Philippians 3:7-8, But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
Following Christ means we need to strive so much with all our lives to meet the requirements of the sacrifices that will come in our lives. Jesus Christ left us a lot of examples to follow. And many Apostles followed the same path that Jesus walked, especially after the resurrection.
Apostle Paul followed the example of Christ and this conformed his devotion to Him.
Paul says of himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews – Php 3:5 I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;
He was an honorable man, being educated at the feet of Gamaliel. Act 22:3 I am truly a man, a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the exactness of the Law of the fathers, being a zealous one of God, as you all are today.
Paul may have been a member of the Sanhedrin. He was a man of eminent authority and respect during his time. But all these things he possessed in life were all sacrificed when he was called to be an apostle in the church of God. He was elected to be an Apostle to preach to the Gentile people. (1 Corinthians 1: 1-2)
2 Corinthians 11:22-33 gives an overview of the many sacrifices he made to serve the church as an apostle.
Jesus Christ gave more of this kind of sacrifice than anybody did. Php 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Abraham left his home country and wander as a nomad for the rest of his life. Moses gave up any dreams he may have to sit on the throne of Egypt.
How about us? We say we are servants of God, and what have we had to sacrifice – anything comparable to what these men gave up? Apostle Paul says he lost everything. Philippians 3:8 records, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of ChristJesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
Many of us are similar to the rich young ruler of Matthew 19, who asks Jesus what he needs to do to be saved. When Jesus tells him to sell all he has and give to the poor, he cannot do it. We see that wealth was a major idol in his life, his high tower that he looked to for security. In like manner, we also consider wealth to provide security, and we try hard to keep it from slipping away. If this were not so, idolatry would not be such a major problem, but it is the most common and serious of all spiritual sins. It comes between God and us, greatly hindering us in conforming to His will.