“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

— Mark 8:34

Have you ever noticed how virtually all of the people we call heroes have made great sacrifices in one way or another? To achieve the ends they deemed worthwhile, these people sacrificed their time, their finances, their health, even their lives. And because they willingly relinquished any claims to these things (which we take for granted), we view these people as heroes, worthy of honor and emulation.

Throughout the centuries, God has used sacrifice as the marble from which He carves greatness. Here are some people we call heroes for the sacrifices they made:

• the apostles who gave their lives at stakes, on crosses, and in other torturous ways;

• the early Christians in the Colosseum of Rome, who watched iron grates rise and famished lions charge;

• Christians who were tied to stakes and watched as torches ignited kindling beneath them;

• the Pilgrims who, in the dead of winter, sailed across tumultuous seas to the inhospitable coasts of New England;

• George Washington and his brave soldiers at Valley Forge, who left bloody footprints in the snow as they departed; and

• Jesus Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice, His life, at Calvary.

What sacrifice can you offer to God this day? What material will you give Him so that He can carve greatness from your life?

“There has never yet been a man in our history who
led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”
Theodore Roosevelt