No Greater Love Than This: 5 Stories of True Biblical Sacrifice

No Greater Love Than This: 5 Stories of True Biblical Sacrifice

Throughout our lives, we will all be required to sacrifice something. We sacrifice time to build relationships that are important to us. We sacrifice our money to invest in a greater good. We sacrifice our energy to serve others who may be unable to serve themselves. Ultimately, sacrifice is one of the greatest ways to show love. Throughout the Bible, we are given many examples of individuals who exemplify true sacrifice and inspire us to live a life greater than ourselves.

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  • Abraham Let Go of His Son

    Abraham Let Go of His Son

    He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. (Genesis 22:2-3 ESV)

    Abraham was 100 years old when he saw God’s promise to him to have a son fulfilled. Imagine his surprise when God asked him to sacrifice that same son. Without question, Abraham got up to do precisely what the Lord called him to do.

    Once Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, an angel called out to stop him. God then provided a ram in the bushes for him to sacrifice instead of his son. Although Abraham did not have to sacrifice his son, he was willing to.

    Abraham was willing to sacrifice his blessing to be obedient to the One who blessed him in the first place. He was willing to give up on all the dreams, plans, and hopes he had for the future because he had faith there was nothing he could give up for God that God could not restore.

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  • Moses Gave Up His Excuses

    Moses Gave Up His Excuses

    “And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:9-12 ESV)

    Although a Hebrew, Moses grew up in the Egyptian palace. When he became older and realized how badly his people were treated, he lashed out at an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and killed him. He then ran away and made a life for himself outside of Egypt until God called him to go back to Egypt and save His people.

    Moses had several reasons why he could not be the one to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, but God would not accept any of his excuses. Eventually, Moses garnered the courage to leave the comfortable new life he made for himself and answer the call from God to deliver His people from Egypt. Moses sacrificed his comfort, his plans, and his desire. His act of sacrifice would result in the deliverance of millions of Hebrews out of Egypt.

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  • Ruth Laid Down Her Future

    Ruth Laid Down Her Future

    But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.” (Ruth 1:16-18 ESV)

    After the death of her husband and father-in-law, Ruth’s mother-in-law pleaded with her to go back to her homeland. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, reasoned that she would have a better chance of finding a husband if she left, offering a better guarantee of security and protection. Ruth’s sister-in-law went home, but Ruth decided to stay with Naomi.

    Ruth sacrificed the safety of her future to stay by Naomi’s side. She was willing to sacrifice the hope of a future relationship with a husband to honor the relationship she had with Naomi. Eventually, Ruth would marry Naomi’s family member, Boaz, and bear his child, who would then be in the linage of Jesus. In the end, Ruth received everything she was willing to sacrifice.

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  • Mary Put Her Reputation in God's Hands

    Mary Put Her Reputation in God's Hands

    And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:35;37 ESV)

    Mary was a young woman ready to get married to Joseph. Her life was all planned out until she was greeted by an angel to inform her she would birth the Messiah her people had long-awaited. Mary wasn’t sure how it would happen, but she had to have known that this birth would change everything.

    She was willing to sacrifice her plans, convenience, and even her reputation. Just imagine what others thought of her for becoming pregnant before she was married to Joseph. Even Joseph was going to call off their marriage until an angel came to him in a dream. God used Mary’s willingness to sacrifice her life to bring salvation to the world.

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  • Jesus Gave Up His Life

    Jesus Gave Up His Life

    Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 ESV)

    The sacrifices of Abraham, Moses, Ruth, and Mary are all reflections of a greater sacrifice that would be made. Jesus offers us the greatest sacrifice of all. Not only did He sacrifice His life on the cross, but He also made many sacrifices during His life.

    Philippians 2:6-8 tells us: “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8 ESV)

    Jesus sacrificed His divine privileged to walk this earth as a fragile human like us, to live a perfect life that He would then sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins and the redemption of our souls. His sacrifice shows He truly offers the greatest love of all.

    Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at

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