How do you give the perfect gift to someone who literally has everything? What could we humans—really give to the God who created the universe?
Romans 12:1 says,
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
According to this passage of scripture; in light of what Christ has done for us—given us salvation, unconditional love and endless mercy, grace and blessings—let us respond appropriately. It is our reasonable service to be a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice? Okay—this is a very extreme gift—right?
I once talked to a young man, who considered himself to be a believer, who thought it was. I said “Jesus gave His life for you—died on a cross for you, He wants your heart.” He said “I’ve thought about that, Jesus knew He’d raise from the dead and be in heaven back with His Father, it wasn’t really a huge sacrifice”
Over the years I’ve pondered this mind-set. Essentially it says I don’t owe God anything—especially not to be a living sacrifice.
I think this passage of scripture is one of those that a lot of us just might want to skip. But we can’t take the bless me scriptures and ignore our reasonable service.
What would it look like if Christians actually were living sacrifices?
I’m not saying it is easy to be a living sacrifice, but either was enduring the cross.
Mainly, we need to check our response to this urging assignment from the Word. What is our heart attitude towards God when we know He wants us to live a sacrificial, totally abandoned life-style to Him? This will tell us a lot about our heart.
Our response should stem from our relationship of mutual love with God. Not from duty should we be a living sacrifice, but because of our deep love for Him.
My reasonable service as a wife and mother has to come from my heart of love for my family or else I would burn-out really quick! Why would we painfully bear children, change poopy diapers and endlessly clean, cook and serve unless we love? Why and how does a man work his whole life to provide for his family—if it’s not for love?
It’s no different with God.
Presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice is a form of true worship to God.
Deserting self and all its ambitions—is our first step in reasonable service. Be reminded God will never ask you to do anything He won’t equip you for and the only way you can fail—is to disobey.
Please be encouraged to say yes to God—give Him the gift of wholeheartedly diving into the life-style of being a living sacrifice. In light of the abundant gift of God—it is a very reasonable thing for Him to ask of us.
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].