BY OKECHUKWU IFIONU
Those who train their eyes on extraordinary achievements this year must also be ready to make extraordinary sacrifices. Worship without sacrifice is meaningless as one religious thinker noted. To achieve the extraordinary calls for extraordinary sacrifice. You cannot do the same thing you have been doing in the past and yet expect to get a different result. Whenever God wants to do something great in our lives, He sets a rather unusual test for us.
Often it comes as a demand for sacrifice which may appear difficult to imagine, let alone accomplish. But as the saying goes, he who dares wins. If you want to win really big this year with God, then set your mind and your eyes on something you had never done in your life. Think of what to do to help make other people’s life much better. Think of what you can do to expand the Kingdom of God here on earth. Think of what sacrifice will trigger unusual blessing to you from God.
One parishioner who understood this principle asked his Vicar to allow him pay the parish’s Assessment (diocesan financial quota) of a little over N5 million in two installments. He did so and then became in just 18 months the landlord of two properties in an upscale part of Lagos. His vicar was hardly surprised when he came for the dedication of the two mansions. It was consistent with the Kingdom principle of sowing and reaping.
Often times we fail to receive from God not because we are asking amiss but rather because God sees our reluctance to make sacrifice for the God we claim to be our Lord. When God urges us to put our seed in a particular soil, it is not because He wants to strip us of our hard-earned wealth. No! Rather it is because He wants to give us an opportunity to enlarge our coast. As the Bible enjoins us, “Be not wise in thine own eyes…Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase; so shall thy barns be filled with plenty…” Prov. 3:7,9,10).
Every extraordinary sacrifice in the Kingdom of God leads to extraordinary increase in blessings. Reflect deeply on this as we roll into the second month of this year. Be blessed.
•Venerable Ifionu is an Anglican priest. He wrote this on Facebook