September 5, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy, and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1
Through the preceding eleven chapters Paul has revealed the awful sinfulness of man...the depths to which he will go when left to his own lustful desires, turning his back on God (Romans 1:21-25). He reveals the complete reconciliation and freedom man can have when he places his trust in the atonement of Jesus Christ..."Therefore, there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). Then he gives the conditions by which this can be a reality--salvation through Jesus Christ..."That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10).
Because of all God has done for you; the most reasonable thing you can do is to present your body as a living sacrifice to God. He wants our absolute abandon of devotion to Himself, which is evident when we manifest emphatic trust in Him.
This is beautifully illustrated when Mary of Bethany broke the box of precious ointment and poured it on Jesus. It was an extravagant act motivated by her absolute abandon of devotion to Christ. We read that the "aroma filled the room." It would be wonderful if our life would manifest the "aroma of Christ unto God" (2 Corinthians 2:15).
The three Hebrew captives, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, exemplify absolute abandon of devotion to God. Faced with certain death if they didn't bow down to the golden image the king had set up, they answered, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image you have set up" (Daniel 3:17-18).
When God delivered the three Hebrew captives from the blazing fire, the only thing they lost were the chords that bound them! When we abandon our lives in devotion to Christ the only thing we will lose are the chords of sin and selfishness that kept us in bondage.
God wants you to be a "living sacrifice." We should not think of sacrificing anything to God in the sense that we are giving up something to compensate what He has done for us. To be a "living sacrifice" is to joyfully give to God the thing we treasure most--"the will to control our own lives." This means we surrender our will to His control and live under His sovereign lordship.
"Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar" (Psalm 118:27). The sacrifice represented the sin of the people. To the believer, it represents our life yielded to God without reservation..."a living sacrifice" where HE IS LORD OF ALL! This will involve burning away the dross in our life, the destruction of every impediment that hinders His purifying process. But when the refining is done, we become "Vessels of Honor" to magnify and glorify His Name!
Is there any greater privilege than this? Is there any greater blessing than being a "living sacrifice" for HIM who has reconciled us unto Himself? Dare to trust Him in the fire!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-09-05
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