December 8: Present Yourself A Living Sacrifice
“I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1). Paul’s admonition is to believing Christians to sacrifice themselves to God, not as a sacrifice on the altar, as the Mosaic Law required the sacrifice of animals, but as a living sacrifice. A sacrifice is anything of high value, consecrated and offered to God. As a believer, how do you consecrate and offer yourself to God as a living sacrifice?
Under the Old Covenant, God accepted the sacrifices of animals. But these were just a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Because of His ultimate, once-for-all-time sacrifice on the cross, the Old Testament sacrifices became obsolete and are no longer of any effect (Hebrews 9:11-12). For those who are in Christ by virtue of saving faith, the only acceptable worship is to offer ourselves completely to the Lord. Under God’s control, the believer’s yet-unredeemed body can and must be yielded to Him as a holy instrument of righteousness (Romans 6:12-13; 8:11-13). In view of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for us, this is only “reasonable.”
What does a living sacrifice look like in the practical sense? The following verse (Romans 12:2) helps us to understand. We are a living sacrifice for God by not being conformed to this world. The world is defined for us in 1 John 2:15-16 as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. All that the world has to offer can be reduced to these three things. The lust of the flesh includes everything that appeals to our appetites and involves excessive desires for material things such as food, drink, sex, and anything else that satisfies physical needs. Lust of the eyes mostly involves materialism, coveting whatever we see that we don’t have and envying those who have what we want. The pride of life is anything or ambition for that which [ puffs us up], makes us proud, pompous and boastful and puts us on the throne of our own lives; basically, glorifies the flesh and not God. Note: All that the flesh has to offer is just a waste of time and a destroyer of the soul and relationship with God. They’re only for a very short time before they develop wings and fly away. Only God’s provision is sufficient and sustaining.
Let’s pray: O Lord, protect your people all over the world. Let all Christians understand the message that the best sacrifice acceptable to You, Lord, is a broken and contrite heart that lives in a body totally dedicated to You. Help us Lord, to sanctify ourselves and present our bodies as holy vessels of honor and glory unto You, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Today’s reading: Daniel 9-11; Jude
Jesus Christ Did It and We Must Do It.