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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  Be sure to express your appreciation to your mother this weekend! We continue this week, with our series 7 Powerful Graces for Living.  Once again, the grace of this week does not seem to be very graceful, because the sermon title is, Sacrifice.  Inherently, we know that there is a great power in the act of sacrifice.  We see it on every level of life.  Whether it is a mother caring for her child, a soldier serving our country, or a police officer protecting our streets, there is something inherently noble and powerful about the nature of sacrifice in our lives.  We turn to Hebrews 13:7-16 to see the power and witness of Christian sacrifice.  This letter was written to the Jews of the early church, but since they had left the rigorous legalism of the Law of Moses, how could they know if they were pleasing God?  This was an important question because they were being shamed and abused for following Christ.  The writer reminds them that Jesus never changes and they can depend on his help for all of their lives.  Their commitment to Christ had transformed their worship from ritual to being renewed by the grace of God, despite suffering, hardship, and even abuse.  Now, they could offer sacrifices that would transform their hearts and lives and ours as well. As you read Hebrews 13:7-16, we pray that you will be renewed in the grace and power of God!  Hebrews 13:7-16:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise– the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.