Series: The Insanity of... #3
Published by B&H Publishing on October 1, 2019
Genres: Non-Fiction, Devotional
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Bestselling author Nik Ripken, mentored by believers in persecution, offers a 90-day devotional to help you align your heart with God's, seeing the role sacrifice plays in the life of every follower of Jesus Christ.
Individuals and families will be challenged to embrace sacrifice as their daily offering to God. It is through offering ourselves that we mirror the nature of the Father who gave His only Son to be crucified, and the nature of the Son who gave His very life to save sinners. Through this book readers will discover that their sacrifice can lead others, across the street and across the oceans, to discover new resurrection life in Christ.
Sometimes the stories of missionaries come across to us “average Christians” as superheroic legends. It’s so great that they’re able to do that, but I never could. We gape in awe as they tell their stories of the underground churches in China, or the devastations in Somalia, or instances of supernatural provision and incredible loss. We place them over and above and beyond any of us.
And then I’m reminded of that verse from James—Elijah was a man, just like us (Jas. 5:17)—and realize that if we can be like Elijah then certainly we can be called to same kind of insanity of obedience in whatever context Christ puts us. But there’s still that invisible barrier for a lot of people. We can see how this insanity works out in this context, but how do we make them work in our context?
As a pastor, I’ve found that there’s a necessity to bridge the gap between the comfort of suburbia and stepping out into the wild unknown. Since 2016, I’ve shown the film The Insanity of God to my youth group on pretty much an annual basis. Every year, I feel like the kids come away from it wanting to know to get where Nik is at, but not exactly sure how to work in out in their own lives that are so different from Nik’s context.
The Insanity of Sacrifice is that much-needed bridge. Through ninety days of devotional material, Nik Ripken teaches and challenges readers to live sacrificial lives for God. Ripken speaks with clarity and precision, speaking as someone who has been through the fire in deeper and greater ways than most of us ever have. He speaks out of a wisdom and a context that very few have.
Each devotional is about three pages, meaning that readers can breeze through in about five minutes day. I’ll just warn you from the outset that’s not enough. The Insanity of Sacrifice demands to be pored over, wrestled with, and put into action. It
This isn’t a popular message. Ripken says as much throughout the book. But what it leads to—this life in the Spirit—is worth it all. My only criticism is that this isn’t enough. Three short pages is hardly enough for Ripken to go into the depth and richness that I would like. But if he had done so, this book might not have been as good a bridge or as good a beginning.
I read this book over a couple of hours in a couple of sittings, but I’m returning to it now as it was meant to be read. One day at a time, night by night, sitting at the feet of an experienced sufferer and discovering the beauty and joy of sacrifice.
The Insanity of Sacrifice is a challenge. Be careful because you can’t read it without radically changing who you are. So if you’re content, if you’re happy, if you have everything you want—just skip this. But if you have within yourself a holy discontent that is urging you forward, The Insanity of Sacrifice can be your blueprint to get you started.