First Comes the Sacrifice

First Comes the Sacrifice

Sacrifice?  Not many people want to talk about this subject.  Yet, where would we be without sacrifices?

The definition of sacrifice is an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.  As we write this blog, the world is plagued by COVID-19, a pandemic that has infected over a million people worldwide and killed over 60,000.  Doctors and nurses are busily sacrificing their own health to save lives while the rest of us are sheltering in place to save ourselves.  First responders and our military are busily making sure that we are safe.  They are all giving themselves for the sake of something bigger, us.  Thank you.   

God sacrificed his only son, Jesus, so that we could be saved.  As Jesus hung on the cross, he said Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me.  Yet not my will but yours be done (Luke 22:42). Jesus died so that we could have eternal life.  He gave himself for the sake of something bigger, us.

First Comes the Sacrifice is a double entendre.  To have eternal life, one must put Jesus first, and to be successful, one must first sacrifice time and effort for the sake of something bigger.

Often, people who are working their way through school while maintaining a job understand that going to school is a sacrifice of time and effort in the hope that they will have a better life.  That better life means providing for a family – doing what is necessary so that others will benefit.  Let’s all take a moment to consider these sacrifices and express our gratitude, because the thought of where we would be without them is unimaginable.

Eli Jones and Jase Powell

Be Still and Know

Be Still and Know

(My thoughts for today)

Given today’s pandemic of COVID-19, I am often led to the Psalms, which is like a healing balm to my soul. Psalms 46:10 reads, “Be still and know that I am God.” As believers, how often do we take the time just to sit, reflect, and truly know that He is God?

From 1918 to 1919 there were three waves of influenza that were part of the global Spanish Flu pandemic killing 50 million worldwide. A century later we are witnessing another pandemic that has many worried, scared, and anxious about the future. What does the scripture tell us about anxiety? In Matthew 6:25, we read, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

My prayer for today is that we will each take the time to celebrate today. Many have heard the words, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a GIFT which is why we call it THE PRESENT.” Take time today to relish the gift of another day. In these days of social distancing, remember that God wants us to have community. Take the time to call a friend that you have not connected with for so long, enjoy making memories with your families as you ‘shelter in place’, go on a walk and enjoy God’s beauty around us, look through old family photos and reminisce about God’s goodness, and take time to pray and turn your burdens over to the Lord.

My favorite scripture is one that I pray for each day–words that we should remind ourselves each time that are anxious–I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you.” May you be reminded today to whom you belong, cast those cares upon Him, and remember to take time to be still and know that HE is God–He’s got the whole world in His hands.

During Trying Times – Pick Up God’s Yellow Pages

During Trying Times – Pick Up God’s Yellow Pages

During these trying times, I encourage you to pick up God’s Yellow Pages and let your fingers do the walking through the Bible.

When disaster threatens – look up Psalm 91; Psalm 118:5,6; and Luke 8:22-25.

Enjoy reading aloud this personalized version of Psalm 91:

Psalm 91
1 I will dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.
3 Surely, He will deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
4 He will cover me with His feathers, And under His wings, I will take refuge; His truth will be my shield and buckler.
5 I shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand; But it shall not come near me.
8 Only with my eyes shall I look and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because I have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, My dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall me, nor shall any plague come near my dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways.
12 In their hands, they shall bear me up, lest I dash my foot against a stone.
13 I shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent I will trample underfoot.
14 Because I have set my love upon You, therefore You will deliver me; You will set me on high because I have known Your name.
15 I will call upon You, and You will answer me; You will be with me in trouble; You will deliver me and honor me.
16 With long life, You will satisfy me, and show me Your salvation.

Download and Print Psalm 91 Personalized

Be blessed and keep the faith. 🙏🏽

Jo Ann Burbridge
Senior Fellow
American Leadership Forum Criminal Justice