“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.”
Romans 12:1, NIV
The Message version says “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering.”
According to this verse, my life is an offering. What I do is for God and who I am is placed on the altar in honor of him. Is my life worthy of this? Would I take my everyday and place it before God as a gift? Because that is exactly what this statement entails. As a Christian, my daily life ought to be pleasing to God.
When I imagine something that is pleasing to God, I think of him smiling upon me. I hear him stating “well done”. This isn’t meant to intimidate; God accepts us exactly as we are. Surely though, there is a healthy balance between a strict set of rules and living loosely, accepting all of cultures ways.
This verse has a direct correlation to the next one (which our last devotional was written on). I want to bring attention to the specific transformation God calls us to. Because sacrificing yourself is exactly what leads into true and authentic transformation. We cannot be transformed if we are clutching onto false promises, worldly culture, or our own plans.
Jesus is the ultimate example… He sacrificed his physical body in order to transform the spiritual world. He was a living sacrifice, and a perfect one at that.
We are called to sacrifice ourselves, our daily lives, that God’s name would be known. To sacrifice means to offer up. God offered up his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus offered up his divinity, coming to earth. Jesus offered up his own plans to live out his father’s will. On the cross, Jesus offered up every ounce of his being, all for the purpose of providing us with an opportunity for transformation.
In seeking transformation, we must choose to sacrifice. Without sacrifice, there is no transformation. To give our daily life to God is an act of trust. Do we trust his will? Are we pursuing transformation?
"A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For, in being what God means it to be, it is obeying [God]."
- Thomas Merton
To offer your life means to live in obedience to God, to be what he designed you to be. I encourage you to look deep within yourself. Consider your gifts, talents, passions, the things that bring you joy, and the things that break your heart. Does your life make moves toward these things? Are you making choices in your daily life to sharpen these skills, utilize these talents, experience these joys or fight for these heartbreaks? If not, why? What needs to change about your life for you to be operating within the call God has for you? This doesn’t mean your job has to change or you have to move states, unless of course that is what you believe God to be calling you to. It just means you need to think about how you spend your time and be intentional about being who God designed you to be.
Are you being yourself? Are any of us truly being ourselves? Or are we too busy trying to be who the people in our lives want us to be? Are we preoccupied holding up our pristine facades to the point where we can’t open the door to let God in?
I picture that set piece Pastor Mark spoke about that didn’t have enough brackets and was wobbling on stage. Back and forth. Do you have walls like this? Flimsy and fake, ready to fall over. You have two options when you see that wall wobble. You can drop what your doing and run to hold it up, not letting anyone see who you really are, or you can let it fall, and allow God to clean away the rubble and transform you into who he really intended you to be.
To offer your body as a living sacrifice means to know who God designed you to be and intentionally live out that call for your life. Find ways to serve other people, always love your enemies, pray for those people who bug you. It’s not easy and you can’t do this by accident. That is why the Paul urges you! You don’t have to beg people to do easy things. It’s hard to do! But spending time with God daily, burying your nose in the bible, courageously stepping into the lives of people in need are all ways to live in obedience to the call of God.
Choose transformation through sacrificing. Live everyday with the intent of offering it up to God.
Lord, I pray that our lives and our choices would be an offering unto you. I pray that our sacrifice offers a pleasing aroma to you. Help us to make the difficult choices in our everyday lives so that what we do brings glory and honor to your kingdom. Thank you for being the example of a living sacrifice, offering yourself in complete obedience. Thank you for your master plan to save us all. And thank you for giving us the opportunity to be transformed by your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
All materials written and designed by Heather & Daniel Christy.