110% - Total Sacrifice
Matthew 16:24-25 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Romans 12:1 – Therefore I urge you, brethren, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
1 Kings 19:21 - So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxenand slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
“I want everyone giving 110%!” said many coaches. To a mathematician this sounds like non-sense, but every hockey player knows exactly what it means. It means you don’t take a shift off. It means you’re focused. It means you’re working as hard as you can. It means you’re giving it everything. If you take a shift off, you’re not focused, and not giving it everything – the puck ends up in your net, you take a bad penalty, you don’t make the team… you don’t reach your goal. Hockey is a sport where you have to give 110%. God also expects 110%, not just in hockey, but for Him.
It takes sacrifice to give 110%. An athlete has to give time and effort, have regimented exercise routine, dietary habits, adequate sleep for recovery, practice diligently, and prepare mentally. But the sacrifice it takes to give 110% to God is greater that all these. It means putting your selfish ambition aside. It means giving up everything that doesn’t honor Him. It means you’re not divided by giving some things to God and keeping some things for yourself. He expects you to sacrifice yourself.
Look close at the pictures God gives us - In Matthew 16, Jesus tells us in order to be His disciple we must take up our cross and follow Him. The cross was an instrument of death, much like the electric chair today. In Romans 12:1 it tells us to be a living sacrifice. In those days a sacrifice was an animal killed at the alter as an offering to the Lord (to show that what happens to that animal is what we deserve, but God has mercy and diverts His wrath – a foreshadowing of Jesus). And in Galatians 2:20 Paul says he has been crucified with Christ. Put these verses together and God is telling us, ‘Be a living sacrifice, pick up your cross and come be crucified with Me. In doing so you will gain new life, I will live in you, and you will know what My will is.’ This is a bit crazy isn’t it? God asks for 110%.
When Elijah called the prophet Elisha in 1 Kings 19, Elisha had to consider this. He decided to go all in and give up his life. He killed the oxen and burned the plows which were his livelihood – eliminating the possibility of going back to his old life. He did it because he understood God had something better for him. It was once he laid down his life that God really used him.
To give 110% we sacrifice ourselves. We give over our hopes, dreams, relationships, finances, material goods… everything – we entrust it all to the Lord and release our ownership to Him. There’s no going back. Then life in Christ, eternal life, begins - but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it - Jesus.
Elisha killed the oxen and burned the plows and went all in. What does it look like for you to be all in?
In what areas of your life are you giving God 110%? In which areas are you not giving God 110%?
For more reading see Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 1:16-20
Posted on Fri, May 24, 2013
by Todd Lohstreter filed under