Laying Down Our LivesWhat sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?
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Elijah answered, “I have come because you have sold yourself to what is evil in the Lord’s sight” (v.20).
Every buyer is also a seller. If I buy apples from you, then you’re selling your apples and “buying” my money, while I am “selling” my money to buy your apples. For every time you make a purchase, you must give up something to make the transaction. If you have nothing to sell, there’s nothing you can buy.
Ahab mistakenly thought he was only a buyer. He wanted to turn Naboth’s vineyard into a garden, and he offered to pay cash or trade a better vineyard if Naboth would sell (1 Kings 1:2). Naboth answered that his family inheritance could not be sold. Ahab’s wife Jezebel then told her husband that she would get the land for him. She cruelly had Naboth stoned on false charges. She then said to Ahab, “You know the vineyard Naboth wouldn’t sell you? Well, you can have it now! He’s dead!” (v.15).
A happy Ahab immediately claimed the vineyard. What a bargain! He had been willing to overpay for the land, but now he was getting it for free. Almost.
Ahab was so focused on the buyer’s side of the ledger that he didn’t notice he had vastly overpaid. Elijah told Ahab that Naboth’s vineyard had cost his soul. He had sold himself to evil, for he had robbed and murdered an innocent man so he could grow vegetables. Hope you enjoy those tomatoes, Ahab, because “dogs will lick your blood at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth!”(v.19).
Every time we take, we give something back. Visit trashy websites, and you leave a part of your soul behind. Cheat others, and the money you save is outspent by the cost to your character. You belong to God, who bought you with the blood of His Son. Don’t sell yourself short.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:12 to learn your true value and how you should spend it.
Think of an item you recently purchased. What did it cost you financially? What did it cost you spiritually? Was it worth it? Why or why not?
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