Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:1-2 (HCSB)
In our modern western culture, it is becoming increasingly easy to get distracted by all that surrounds us. Advertisements bombard us at every turn – radio, the internet, television, billboards, etc. We have countless opportunities to engage in activities or to purchase more “stuff” that do nothing to reflect God’s glory.
We are instructed to be “living sacrifices”. How much do any of us truly sacrifice? The vast majority of those in the West have quite enough “stuff”, probably many times over enough! How about surrendering our personal selfishness and greed and instead invest our time and money in things and people that will further the kingdom?
To be a living sacrifice we must learn to devote every second of our lives to God. Whatever we do, we must first make it pass through the “Jesus filter”. It works something like this: before, for example, saying something, test your words with a series of questions: “Will what I’m about to say encourage the person to whom I am speaking? Will it honor God? Will it point others to Christ? Will it demonstrate that we are different?” Before purchasing something, we might ask questions like these: “Will this purchase honor God? Is it something that furthers His kingdom? Does it demonstrate good stewardship of the money He has entrusted us to manage?”
There are many more questions we could ask ourselves, but I’m certain you get the point. I can hear the howls of protest already: “Can’t we buy ANYTHING for ourselves? Can’t we just engage in some mindless conversation or watch some television to just ‘zone out’ and relax?” We think we need these things to be happy, but we miss the point. When we are totally submitted to Christ, presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice, we will be filled with a joy and happiness unlike we have ever known! We were created for this very thing; there is no comfort like that of being what you were created to be.
Presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice is not easy, particularly when we first endeavor to do so. We must retrain our minds and bodies to think and act only for God. We must give up all of the so-called treasures of our culture, all those things we’re constantly told that we need, and instead focus solely on Christ. As we sacrifice what we once considered “all” for Him, we will discover that we now have everything through Christ.
Lord, forgive my wandering heart; forgive my lack of commitment in living sacrificially for You. Renew my spirit; renew my mind and my body that I may give them all back to You as a sacrifice of praise. Thank You for Your unending patience and love.