Day 30: A living sacrifice
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
Jesus willingly gave up His life so that our relationship with God could be restored, We are also called to sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice is the only one that can save us, and no further sacrifice is required for salvation. But we are called to make our own sacrifice in response, and like Jesus’ sacrifices, it may require our whole lives.
The sacrifice God wants from us is a living sacrifice. Instead of dying for God, He usually calls us to live for Him with every aspect of ourselves.
Here in Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul mentions that we should give everything we have. First, he writes about our bodies, which includes the actions that we perform (the things we do with our bodies). They should be given to God, just like Jesus gave His body to serve God. We ought to use ours to obey God and do His will, including serving others.
Obeying God with our bodies is the sign of our spiritual worship. We cannot serve God with our bodies unless our spirits are also directed toward serving God.
Finally, we serve God with our minds, with which we can know God’s will, just like Jesus knew God’s will was for His sacrifice. This may mean giving up our own plans and desires to do what God wants instead. Paul also tells us that our minds must be renewed and transformed. Our own thoughts and opinions may need to be sacrificed in order to follow God’s thoughts, but God promises that His will is perfect and good. His plans for us are better than our own!
Questions for reflection and discussion
- Are there actions, habits, or ways of thinking that you need to sacrifice?
- Why is it important for people in the church to sacrifice their time, talent and treasure?
- How does God want you to do that?
Dear God, we are so grateful for Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Please make us willing to be a living sacrifice for you every day. In Jesus’ name, amen