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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Faith and Sacrifice

Of Faith and Sacrifice

Love is one of the most powerful forces on this earth. By it wars have started and ended and emipires have risen and fallen. Through the zeal of a love of God the world has been transformed by loving, charitable hands, and has been scarred by the overzealous acts of extremists. When bridled it provides a home with an atmosphere of peace and harmony, and when unbridled it is loose to tear the family to pieces.

There are four ways in which the word love is used in greek: Agápe, spiritual love (love of God) ; Éros, passionate love (Romantic interest); Philla, mental love (Love of a friend); and Storge, affection (Parent and child). I speaking primarily about Agápe.
The most famous verse in scripture reads:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Saïd Business School, Oxford University
Last year I had the opportunity to attend a seminar at the Saïd Business School, at Oxford University. The seminar was in honour of Kim B. Clark, president of BYU-I, and a previous dean of the Harvard Business School. There were several other guests that are leading scholars of business and leadership such as Clayton M. Christensen.

At this seminar there was a resounding theme throughout. "We're willing to suffer damage to gain their trust". That is a statement that has played on my mind quite a bit. We suffer for others to gain their trust.

Christ said "If ye love me, keep my commandments". We show love by trust, which comes by way of sacrifice. God loved the world, so he gave. God loves unconditionally, but that love is not associated with unconditional trust. He trusts us with light, faith, revelation, responsibility, forgiveness, and ultimately eternal life to the degree that we are willing to trust (Sacrifice for) him. Where there is no sacrifice there is no trust, and the love of God for us carries no promise.

This is the great secret. 

Eternal life is granted to him that is willing to sacrifice all things. That doesn't mean burn your possessions and forfeit your relationships. But it means that we must do as Abraham. When the lord calls and requires that which we care about most, we cannot withhold. We must be submissive and willing to follow our Saviour and King to the end. Each trial bears a call to sacrifice, and each sacrifice brings forth renewed and invigorated faith, if we can but prove faithful. 

"Trust the lord with all thine heart,... and He shall direct thy paths"