What does it mean to worship God and be a living sacrifice? It can get pretty overwhelming serving our family, neighbor, and obeying God. It can stretch us to stay true to loving God and resting in his love for us, as the storms of life rage around us. But when we trust God in the midst of the pain and disappointments that challenge us in life, we worship Him and sacrifice our desire to understand the whys of life. When we surrender to Him, we let go of our desire to try (key word) to control our lives and we become living sacrifices. This is our spiritual act of worship! Read on as Shelia Walsh encourages our hearts today and renews our minds.
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” — Hebrews 12:1-2
A Living Sacrifice
by Sheila Walsh, 5 Minutes with Jesus
Parents with older children had warned me about this project, the crowning glory of seventh grade, but I still wasn’t prepared for how much work it involved. Each student had to build a to-scale model of the tabernacle of the Lord as outlined in Exodus 36–39. Have you ever read a detailed account of the tabernacle? It is incredibly intricate. It makes the Taj Mahal look thrown together.
We visited several craft shops, and then my son Christian got to work. His greatest challenge was the to-scale part. After his first noble attempt, I asked him, “Do you see any kind of problem with the high priest and the animal he is about to sacrifice?”
Christian studied the plastic figures intently. “Do you mean that the lamb is four times the size of the priest?”
“Yep, that’s it,” I said. “He’d need a crane to get that critter onto the altar.”
We got a smaller lamb and a slightly larger priest. The tabernacle was starting to look really good, so I left Christian to put on the finishing touches while I fixed supper. Ten minutes later he stormed into the kitchen.
“I need a hot glue gun, a hammer, and a big nail!”
“Why? I thought you were finished.”
“I was, but the lamb keeps falling off the altar!”
That’s a problem for all of us who — to quote the apostle Paul — are living sacrifices. We can crawl right off the altar when it gets too hot!
And it can get pretty hot as we try to serve our family, love our neighbor, and obey God’s commands. It can get hot as we try to love God with all we are and faithfully worship Jesus both when the sun shines and when the storm rages. But when we worship God, even with tear-soaked faces as the altar gets very hot, we sacrifice our desire to understand the whys of our life. And when we seek God’s guidance and choose to obey Him, we sacrifice ourselves, dying a little more to our desire to be lord of our life.
Choosing to be a living sacrifice.
Five Minutes in the Word
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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. — Romans 12:1-2
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. — Psalm 103:1-5
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. — Hebrews 12:1-3
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. — Psalm 5:7
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Excerpted with permission 5 Minutes with Jesus, by Sheila Walsh, copyright Thomas Nelson.
We all keep falling off, or crawling off, or jumping off the altar! That’s our problem! Learning to submit as Jesus did to the authority of God, to be humble, to love, to serve, to put our “why’s” away and just say yes to Jesus taking getting back up on the altar every single day. Join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you about being a living sacrifice. ~ Devotionals Daily
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