Living Sacrifice

“Present yourselves as a living sacrifice”             Romans 12:1

The Old Testament of the Bible talks a lot about sacrifices.  They sacrificed animals, grain and wine for sin, birth, thanks and a multitude of other items.  We read about this practice and try as we may we can never really fully comprehend what it would be to offer a sacrifice in this manner.  The reason is – We don’t have to.  Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we no longer provide burnt offerings to God on an altar.  Does this mean we no longer have to offer a sacrifice – No it does not.  In the Book of Romans 12:1 we are told

“To present yourselves as a living sacrifice”

What exactly does this mean?  That’s a great question.  All I can do is tell you my interpretation of it.  We should live everyday to God’s glory only.  In all that we do, in all that we say and most importantly in how we present ourselves to others.  Give freely of your time, love and finances in His name without a need of recognition in any form.  Our spare time should be spent in learning more about Him through His word.  I am sure that anyone who has studied the Bible more than me can expound on this to a greater degree, but I am all about keeping it simple and to the point.

If we are totally honest, no one can really say that they sacrifice all for God.  Most of us have decent homes to live in, cars to drive, cell phones and a multitude of other items that we feel we need; but are not really necessary they just make our lives easier and/or more comfortable.

Now comes that question I have for you.  What are you willing to sacrifice for Him?  He gave his life for you and I, what will we give Him that gave all?  I am going to think about this for a while and try and post a comment in a week or so.  Let me know what you are thinking and how this post made you think about those material things we feel are so important to our lives.

Always remember – God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

What is a Sacrifice??

One person’s sacrifice is not a sacrifice to another. This comment seems to be one that is common sense, but let us look a little bit more into it. With the season of Lent upon us, a lot of us have decided to “give up” something. I have been told by many that they have given up chocolate, desserts, reading non-religious books, limiting computer time, and the list goes on. Now to many these may not seem like sacrifices, but to the ones that made them, quite simply, they are.

I decided to do something a little different this year for Lent; instead of giving up one thing I am trying (note I said trying to do) an additional item each week and added something more oriented to God each week  I will give you the examples below:

week 1 – I gave up playing Bingo on Facebook and added reading at least 2 devotionals per day

week 2 – Turn off the computer at 11:30 pm – read Bible for additional 30 minutes

week 3 – No eating after 9:00 – spend additional 15 minutes communing with the Lord

week 4 – give up soda – post 1 blog per week (starts this Wednesday)

Now it doesn’t seem like much, but remember I am compounding them so I have now given up 4 items and added 4 items (all added items are oriented to a deeper relationship with the Lord.)  Now, how am I doing??  Okay made a few slips here and there, but brush myself off and start over.  These seem small to a lot of us, but they mean something to me, so that brings me to my next point.  What someone sacrifices means something to them.  It may not seem like much to us, but it doesn’t have to.  Remember, the object is to give up something that has meaning to you, not me or your best friend or your family.  You get the picture.

The only sacrifice that can be truly stated as being the most selfless act was Jesus dying on the cross.  So that being said I think I can give up the minor, petty things that I think are selfless, but really, they are not that selfless compared to His sacrifice.

Once again, I thank you for reading my post, hope you can comment on your thoughts, and definitely look forward to my next attempt at this topic.

Always remember that God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

 

Why Sacrifice?

I am glad that the Lutheran ladies chose “love” for our first theme.  The more I think about love, the more I see how it informs every part of Christian life, and every Christian concept.  Last month, a quote by Martin Luther reminded me that love should interpret the law; this month, I am thinking about how love should motivate sacrifice.

The dictionary defines sacrifice as giving something up, usually for a better cause. Many of us have given up our time and disposable income in the present so that we can graduate from college, start a business, or buy a home in the future.  This kind of sacrifice is essentially selfish because we are the ones who will benefit.  We may also sacrifice out of training or feelings of duty:  for example, giving time and money to the church or participating in community service because we’ve been taught it’s the right thing to do.  We might sacrifice for our family members or friends because we love them, but Jesus tells us “even the tax collectors”(Matt. 5:46) do this.

Christians are called to a different kind of sacrifice. One Christian author calls it “love without recompense,” or you might say, “love without any thought of reward.”  This is what the apostle Paul means when he says we must be “a living sacrifice.”(Romans 12:1).   This chapter goes on to tell us exactly what that kind of sacrificial living means:  humility, willingness to use our gifts to help the Church and genuine love for others, including our enemies and those who mistreat us.  Christ, as always, is our model.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

The season of Lent is a time when we think of sacrifice, maybe even giving something up for a time. I challenge you (as I challenge myself) to examine your motives:  Why am I sacrificing this?  Who does this sacrifice really benefit?  Is love my motive?

Send me your thoughts and comments, and tell me what you are sacrificing during Lent.