24 June 2019

Victory requires sacrifice

"An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you." Exodus 20:24

When the Israelites were rescued from slavery, God called them to sacrifice in every place He recorded His name. In essence, He gave them the key that unlocks all victories: sacrifice. Even in our everyday lives, the message of sacrifice still rings true. For example: People struggling with their weight will never be able to lose weight unless they sacrifice a life of indulgence.

Such people can no longer indulge in eating whatever they want to. They have to say no to that slice of creamy, chocolate cake or that piece of deep-fried chicken. This is no easy task, but because the person knows what they want - a healthy body - they will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Another example is that of a medical student. If this student wants to become a doctor, he cannot go to parties and spend time with friends as often as he’d like. He has to study and gain his medical degree.

Surely it is not easy to say no to friends or parties, but this lifestyle has to be sacrificed if this student wants to become a good doctor. So also with a woman who’d like to be a mother. She knows the cost of having a child and the personal sacrifices she'll have to make to raise this child.

Besides the pain of giving birth, there's also the pain of a possibly rebellious child, growing up to be an alcoholic and the helplessness of not being able to save this child. But even with this in mind, the woman will have the baby and make all the sacrifices required of her.

Dear reader, these examples are but a few, and all of them demonstrate the power of sacrifice. Nothing beneficial in life comes without it and no victory is gained without it. The same rule applies when it comes to faith. A Christian cannot grow in faith without sacrifice, whether it is the sacrifice of praying, reading the Bible, fasting or staying away from wrong things. As a child of God, if you want to conquer in life and thus glorify God, you cannot think that living a life without sacrifice will ever achieve this.

So remember, in life and in faith, no one can achieve anything without sacrifice.

God bless you

Bishop Marcelo Pires