Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Ever thought of your life as a living sacrifice?
My guess is that few of us have ever thought that each day was a living sacrifice. We are more likely to think about our lives in terms of what we want or what makes us richer. Yet, Paul writes that our lives should be lived as a living sacrifice.
What is Paul getting at?
Paul’s basic thinking, here, is that every day is a moment to live not for ourselves, but for others. As followers of Christ we are called to live lives that are sacrificial in nature. We do this in the same way that Jesus lived sacrificial, by reaching out to others and considering his life not as important as the lives of others.
What does this mean for us? First, we live in recognition that we are servants of the Lord. Everything we do and seek to be should be directed in response to what God has done in our lives. Second, we must find ways to reach out and to serve others and to consider them more important than ourselves.
To live for others means we are willing to make some big sacrifices. It may mean that we give more money to our local church. It may mean that we spend less time on our own wants, but spend more time building relationships with other people who are not like us. It may even be that we put aside our desires, so that a greater desire would be made known in and through us.
It’s not easy to live sacrificially, but when we do we will see something great. That is the blessings of God pouring out into our lives and the lives of those who we are trying to connect with.
Giving is the greatest form of sacrifice and it takes on so many different forms, whether our money, our times, or even our entire selves. How are you willing to live sacrificially, today, so that others may know God’s love more deeply?