Sunday, February 24, 2019

Living Sacrifice

Chuckle: A child's answer to a science test question: "What does the word "benign' mean?" Answer: "It is what you will be after you be eight."
Quote: "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." --Albert Pike

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1 NIV).
I'm sure you remember the Old Testament story of Abraham and his son, Isaac (Genesis, chapter 22). The short version: God tested Abraham's faith by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham did as God commanded. He bound Isaac, laid him on the wood, and raised his knife to kill him. As he raised the knife, God stopped him and said to him: "Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son" (Genesis 22:12 NIV). God provided a ram to be offered instead of Isaac after Abraham had passed the test of faith. You see, God did not want Isaac to die. He had great plans for both Abraham and Isaac. He wanted both of them to be living sacrifices.
The message for us is that God wants us to love and trust him so completely that we will sacrifice ourselves by dying to self and living lives of sacrifice for him. He wants us to sacrifice through identification with Jesus' death which then makes it possible for us to live and do as Jesus did. Doing the will of our heavenly Father becomes our first priority. Oswald Chambers puts it this way:
"I am willing to be identified with Your (Jesus') death so that I may sacrifice my life to God." He goes on to say: It is of no value to God to give him your life for death. He wants you to be a living sacrifice, to let him have all your powers that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus. This is the thing (sacrifice) that is acceptable to God."
Salvation is a free gift, which we do not deserve, made possible by God's love and grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is not something we can earn. Because of God's free gift, we owe him everything we have and are. We owe him ourselves and all we have as an act of sacrificial worship. Our worship should be a matter of applying faith to everyday life. This is possible when God changes our mindset by his Spirit working in us, giving us the ability to discern God's will in all we do.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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