Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b]2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[a] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NLT)
3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.
2 Timothy 1:8-9 (NLT)
8. …..With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life…..
Romans 6:12 (NLT)
12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] do not give in to sinful desires.
Be A Living Sacrifice
Dying to self-seems to be man’s greatest challenge. Not many of us start our day saying, “Lord I am your living sacrifice today. My flesh completely dies to all that I desire, in exchange for what you desire of me”.
I know personally that dying to self-has always been a struggle for me. Like Paul, my flesh is constantly at war with my spirit. In Romans 7:19 Paul says that: “I want to do good but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong but I do it anyway. I feel sure that if we are being completely honest, we can all agree that like Paul, we have been there many times as well.
Only by completely surrendering to God through prayer, do we have the strength to fight our desires to gratify our flesh first. If we turn our eyes away from God, our flesh will win every time. It is simply not possible, to be the Living Sacrifice that God calls us to be, without dying to self.
When we are in God’s presence on a daily basis we draw strength and guidance to do the things that He desires of us. We also start to joyfully desire to lay our lives down sacrificially, for the causes that bring Him honor and glory. When we yield to God in this way we can also better fulfill the purpose that He has created us for.
The dictionary defines sacrifice as something that we give to God. This starts with the giving of ourselves. Deuteronomy 6:5 says; Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
When we love God with everything that is in us, we desire to live holy lives, and we also desire to be obedient to His commands. We love and serve others joyfully, as we become the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth. We even love those who would seem to the world, to be unlovable. We give generously, sharing with those that have less than we do. We also share our gifts and talents.
This can definitely be a struggle for some. Many times we refuse to use our talents because Satan has convinced us, that we are not good enough or that our talents are not good enough to be used by God. God desires for us to use the gifts and talents that He has blessed us with, even if it is to be done sacrificially.
To be a Living Sacrifice is simply to be Christ-like in every way. Which means we sacrifice our will to God’s will just as Christ did. Living sacrificially is also to be available to God at all times, and not just when it fits into our schedules. It is to live on call for Christ 24 hours a day.
Remember, as a Living Sacrifice we do not lose, we gain and that gain comes with eternal blessings.