In life, there will always be a price to pay. Sometimes that price is small, and other times the price is great. Examples of this can be found in both baseball and in the Bible. I have always found similarities between our relationship with Christ and the game of baseball and the topic of sacrifice is no different.
In baseball the term sacrifice is used when you give up yourself for the greater good of the team. This is done by either scoring your teammate in or moving them in a better position to score, While in turn getting yourself out. I love the idea of the sacrifice bunt, there is something so rewarding about knowing you are likely to be thrown out, but doing it anyway to benefit the team. The price you pay is an out, but the reward, a run or better chance of scoring, is greater then the sacrifice. This act of selflessness is to benefit everyone in the long run, and God did the same thing when he sent Jesus.
When God gave his only begotten son so that we could have eternal life, He gave us the ultimate example of sacrifice. God knows that if we were just given our salvation, that it would be less of a choice and more of a formality. He gives us freewill to make our own choices and by sacrificing Jesus, His son, He gave us the ability to make the choice of salvation for ourselves.
And by doing so, we in turn have to make sacrifices to receive the ultimate reward. When we are saved, we are made new. By accepting Christ as our Savior, we are giving up our old, sinful lives. This can be truly difficult, to give up the lives we have always known and to step out from our comfort zone. Sometimes we are even called to walk away from loved ones, change careers, or even move our families- maybe even half way across the world.
A pastor named Henry Mahan once said, “A thankful heart will not come to God bearing a gift which cost him nothing.” If the “sacrifices” we are making for God actually mean nothing of value to us, what does that say about our heart?
King David says in 2Samuel24:24, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” The price we are willing to pay and the sacrifices we are willing to make speak volumes about our love for the Lord, just as in baseball our willingness to sacrifice our at-bat says a lot about our love for our team.
There is a true cost to follow Jesus, but if it costs nothing, is it worth anything? God’s example shows that He truly believes that anything worth doing in life takes sacrifice.