People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa… I never made a sacrifice. We ought not to talk of ‘sacrifice’ when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us. ~ David Livingstone (speech, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, December 4, 1857)
What a humbling statement. How many times have we considered the time, the energy, the money, that we have given in service to the Lord? Or hesitated in stepping out in His Name because of what it might cost us, particularly our reputation.
When a person tells me they just can’t forgive this time, I share with them the words that Jesus spoke as He hung dying on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” No forgiveness that we are asked to extend even begins to compare with the forgiveness we have been shown at the cost of the very life and blood of the Son of God. Or the forgiveness He demonstrated when He prayed for those who condemned Him to death as He suffered and died on the cross.
This quote by Livingstone reminds me once again about how little we are being asked to give in light of what He gave. As Father He gave His Son to die for our sins. And as the Son, He left His place in heaven, came to earth as a man. He was reviled, insulted and rejected, beaten and crucified. He gave His life. He gave His blood… for you and for me, for all the people of this world. Will you freely and joyfully give what you have freely and joyfully received? Selah.