There is no sacrifice you could give that would match the sacrifice of Jesus. He did what no man could do. The Father is not asking you to do something you cannot do. He is simply asking for a grateful response to his most gracious gift. What should that grateful response look like? Keep Reading...
Romans 12:1 NIV - 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.
Before you think that God is out to make you suffer… that he desires a life of pain from you, you need to remember the context of the preceding chapters. Paul just finished detailing the unbelievable rebellion of humans and the response of incredible grace from the most patient God. In light of this amazing mercy from God, you are given the great encouragement to offer your body as a living sacrifice.
This living sacrifice (or grateful response) should be holy and pleasing to God. You should understand from the preceding chapters in Romans that the death of Jesus made you holy and acceptable to God. Your response should be one of offering your body over to this holy and acceptable position. It is one thing to be declared as holy. It is another thing to live out that position. Offering yourself as a living sacrifice means that you are making real work of living out the holy and pleasing life that you have been called to.
Remember, the motivation for this effort at holy living is not fear, but great gratitude. If you are obeying God out of fear of punishment, this means you have not yet understood his perfect love for you. 1 John 4:18 In fact, this offering to God of holy living is called your worship.
Is your worship characterized by sacrifice? Or do you equate worship with "feeling good" and allowing God to fill you up? Throughout the Bible, worship to the one true God has been defined as an offering of a sacrifice (or surrender). It is not a song, an instrument or peaceful atmosphere that God desires. He is looking for our sacrifice… one from a grateful heart.
Will you give up your impulses towards unholiness? Will you let go of unpleasing ways of communicating? Will you stop assuming that you could never be holy? That doesn't please Jesus. He made a way for you to be holy. So, give him the living sacrifice that he desires.
Note: By the way, the following verses in Romans 12 tell us in detail what it looks like to offer up a holy and pleasing sacrifice to God. And it has a lot to do with how we treat each other!
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