Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
Dear Jesus, last night at youth group was hard. I was lying awake for a long time. At a point in the night, a student said something about if someone else stopped coming, there would be less of a burden. I started thinking about burdens and sacrifices. Have you ever noticed that sacrifice is usually thought of as purely loss? Sacrifice isn’t loss so much as it’s trading something of lesser value for something greater in value. Like, if you sacrificed your free time to become a great athlete or sacrificed money to be closer to your family. Sacrifice. Cost. Ezra, Karyn and I have sacrificed time, effort, emotional energy, stress, tears and sleep for these youth. Our hearts break when we see someone hurt, or lonely, or broken. It breaks even further when we see someone turned away from you. In some small way, we take on a part of these people’s lives. Yes, every single one of them is a burden, but I have never even once questioned if it was all worth it. I sacrifice because I don’t want to see them without you, Jesus. I don’t want to see them alone or without peace and joy. I don’t want to see them live the meaningless drudgery of living for themselves only to find out it doesn’t ever fill you. It is a burden I gladly and proudly carry. It is a burden I want and wouldn’t trade for the world. It is a part of the burden you carried when you carried your cross, no, MY cross to die for my sins so I wouldn’t have to be alone. I desperately want to see these kids in eternity. I desperately love every single one of them. And if that’s how I feel, I can only imagine what you feel for them. And you have never even once questioned if it was all worth it.
- What are you willing to sacrifice or struggle for? (good grades, sports, money, family, friends, faith etc)
- Share a time when someone sacrificed something for you.
- Do you ever feel like a burden?
- How do you think Jesus feels about his sacrifice on the cross? Do you think he is disappointed?
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
That “Joy” was 2 things: His love for his father, and God’s love for you. He is not disappointed with what he got for it. The right burdens are things worth struggling and fighting for. Jesus fought hard for us, we then should also fight for each other.
Pray and ask For God’s help to sacrifice the right things for the right reasons.