Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story of sacrifice in order to relieve a real burden on others. The congregation of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA has fasted certain things from their lives each January for several years. These have included social media, junk food, alcohol, or other items. However this year, the church asked its congregation to fast from spending money on non-essential items so that they then could give that money to an important cause. Over the month, the financial fasting ended up raising over $100,000! The church used that money to pay off the outstanding debt of graduating college students from Howard University in Washington, DC, thus relieving them of a debt that would saddle them for years to come. Of the generosity, the Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said, “Their generosity is a reminder of how one persons selfless act of kindness can be multiplied and have a profound impact on the lives of others.”
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He took on the weight of sin of the world and paid the price so that we may have everlasting life. It says so in what is likely the most famous verse of the Bible, John 3:16. While most of us will never be called to give our lives in defense of others, we are all still called to make sacrifices for the betterment of others. How incredible is it that in just one month of fasting, one church congregation raised the money to clear the debts of a group of students? Too many of us think first of ourselves when we receive a paycheck – what we need to pay as well as what we are able to buy for ourselves. A financial fast is an excellent way to both draw nearer to the sacrificial heart of God as well as create ripples of impact in the lives around us. Today, consider challenging yourself to one month of a financial fast and see what good can come from your sacrifice.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 NIV