The principle of sacrifice is a key one in the Christian experience. Abraham was about to be put to the test: the trial of his faith hinged on demonstrating to God how much he would sacrifice for Him. What a test it was! Abraham was asked to give up his son. Have you noticed how the thing seems to get progressively more difficult? He is to take his son-his only son, the son whom he loves-and offer him up as a burnt offering! Well might the Apostle say, “By faith Abraham… offered up Isaac” (Heb. 11:17), for it is surely one of the great demonstrations of faith in the good purposes of God.
I think we are entitled to conclude that Abraham was ready to make any sacrifice for the Lord. His response indicated that he truly honoured God (v. 12). I almost fear to ask how we measure up. There should be no limit to the sacrifices we are prepared to make for the One who became a sacrifice for us. However, it is perhaps not so much what we give, but what we are prepared to hold back, that is a fair indicator of how we do in this matter. If we would be sure of His smile, we do well to hold nothing back.
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