We are sacrificial, not selfish!
In today's Coronavirus pandemic, Christians are called to be sacrificial, not selfish.
In the wake of pandemics, natural disasters, or other crises, it’s natural to want to hoard supplies and think of yourself first. And while it’s certainly not wrong to protect and provide for yourself and your family, as Jesus-followers, we are called to be sacrificial, not selfish.
Check out what Paul wrote about that:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:3-5 NLT
If we say we follow Jesus, but our lives don’t look like Jesus’ life—then we have to ask ourselves if we’re really following Jesus.
In times of crisis, many people will turn inward. They’ll stock up supplies, hide themselves away, and hoard their resources. While there’s nothing wrong with being prepared, as the body of Christ, we put others first.
There’s a difference between wisely preparing and selfishly storing. If there’s a pandemic or emergency in your area, you should absolutely follow guidelines from your governmental and health officials. You should absolutely listen to wise counsel and prepare yourself and your loved ones. But we cannot serve ourselves at the expense of others.
Proverbs 11:14 NLT Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.
Matthew 10:16 NLT “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
Just think about the early Church. They continually met together. They sold property and personal possessions so that they could meet needs in their community. It wasn’t about the church building. It was about the people.
Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47 NLT All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
As Jesus-followers, we are the Church. No matter what is happening in the world around us, we are called to lead the way in irrational generosity. We are called to be the Church by loving those around us the way Jesus would.
We share with those in need. We stand ready to do what is good. We think of others before ourselves.
Mark 12:30-31 NLT And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (emphasis mine)
Jesus wasn’t selfish. He was sacrificial. He gave up His life so that we could find ours. As His followers, we lead the way—especially in emergencies—by being sacrificial, not selfish.
Galatians 6:2 NLT Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
John 15:13 NLT There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Because here’s the thing: following Jesus isn’t just something that we do once a week when we make it to church. Following Jesus is a radical, daily decision to die to ourselves and put God and others first.
In uncertain times, people are more likely than ever to search for answers. People are looking for hope.
Let’s be people who don’t just say we love others—let’s really love them. Let’s be known for more than a gathering once a week. Let’s be known for meeting needs, for dealing hope, and for shining light into darkness.
Matthew 5:14-16 NLT “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Viewed through the right lens, the coronavirus crisis can be a conduit of blessings to you and through you to others. Don’t miss those opportunities to grow and allow God’s blessings to flow.
Pray: God, thank You for sending Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Help me to follow that example by living sacrificially, not selfishly. God, reveal to me any opportunities where I can serve others and share Your love.God, You have given me so much. Help me to share Your love with others in my path. Help me to have more than a once-a-week faith. Show me what it looks like to serve You daily. Open my eyes to opportunities to shine Your light to others. Help me share Your love and Your hope to others who are looking for answers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.