Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog
“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.” Romans 12:1 is a verse that every Christian should keep in mind every day. It tells us how we are to conduct ourselves while we are on this earth.
There is a reason Paul refers to this sacrifice as living. In the Old Testament the Jewish peoples’ sacrifices always ended in death. It was a one time sacrifice that was concluded through the death of the animal. A living sacrifice is perhaps even harder than dying.
There is no clear end in sight. It is a day after day sacrifice on our part. Not a one time event. We are to live as a continual sacrifice for God. Rev. 2:10 says, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” And In Matt. 24:13, “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
A person who is a living sacrifice is one who endures, and is one who continues to sacrifice, even in trials.
So the question we must ask is, “What is this sacrifice?” If we give our money or time and it doesn’t affect us, was it really a sacrifice? Sacrifice is defined as, “giving up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations.”
Sacrificing ourselves to God implies that it actually takes effort on our part. Christianity that costs nothing accomplishes nothing. A chaplain was speaking to a soldier in the hospital and said, “You have lost an arm in the great cause.” The soldier replied, “I didn’t lose it—I gave it.”
Sacrifice can only occur if we have a change of mind. Paul would tell us that our motivation to sacrifice for God should come from a knowledge of our sin. And through the knowledge that they have been forgiven through Christ. Our sacrifice is willingly done because of the justification we have.
We are commanded to be living sacrifices and one of the struggles we may have is making our sacrifice an everyday occurrence. I know of a few people that think they can get by on a few sacrifices, but anyone can make a single sacrifice, the hard part is making it a part of our behavior. So are we living a life of sacrifice, or has our sacrifice already died?
As we go throughout this week we must ask, am I living a life of sacrifice for God?