“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. “ Matthew 16:24
When we consider honor versus sacrifice only one fundamental question need be answered. For whose Glory comes the Commission? For to be honored by a king brings glory to the one who is exalted. But sacrifice for a King brings glory to that King.
Sacrifice demands we lose ourself in the identity of the One for whom we are seeking fame. For many this would mean we become lost in ourselves – our own desires, plans, ambitions, indulgences. But for the woman who is seeking to bring fame to Her Heavenly Father, we become lost in His beauty, His righteousness, His forgiveness, His sacrifice. When Jesus began His earthly ministry, John the Baptist proclaimed, “I must become less, He must become more.” However, when sacrifice has been experienced by both parties, both are honored.
I am reminded of my favorite scene in conclusion of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. As the rightful King Aragorn is being coronated, everyone in the Kingdom is bowed before him. He approaches the four hobbits whose sacrifice has brought about his return to the throne. He raises them to their feet and says, “My friends, you bow for no one”. Of course they would always bow before him but their sacrifice brought honor to the King and thereby caused the King to honor them. It is a wonderful picture of God seating us in the heavenlies when we give our lives for the sake of His Son’s.
Today as we consider this quote, remember whose glory we are seeking. For Matthew 16:27 says, “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Amen.
Come quickly Lord Jesus and may I have been found faithful in spreading your fame!