Earlier this year the media highlighted the sacrifice a sportsman had made when he left behind a lucrative income to try his hand (and skill) at a completely different sport in another part of the world in order to follow his dream. It seems the world in general looks up to such role models as there are so few of them around.
In Romans 12:1 Paul writes, “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.” The Lord too is looking for men and women who are willing to put it all on the line and live a sanctified life, honouring Him in both word and deed – not for financial gain – to help extend His Kingdom, which is a form of worship He is looking for.
Unfortunately the word sacrifice is not popular in Christian circles today, resulting in a lack of role models for people to learn about, or be inspired by. To be a living sacrifice can mean following the leading of the Holy Spirit when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, unrewarding, and costly. Such believers are sold out entirely for Christ, recognising that Jesus drafted and modelled the example Himself.
To be a living sacrifice means to give back to God what He has already given us, i.e. ourselves! This includes the gifts He has given us: the ability to make a living, and special talents such as music, art, writing, teaching, leadership, gardening, or craftsmanship. When we give back to God what He has given to us, we give Him the perfect gift – OURSELVES!
Choices and decisions shape our destiny in the Lord. We are defined by our choices, not by our DNA or lineage. Joshua (24:15) challenged the children of Israel “to choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve …” It comes down to individual choices!
For the Kingdom of God to expand further, which will allow every unreached nation (i.e. ethnic group) to have an opportunity to hear the Good News for the first time, more living sacrifices are needed in the Body of Christ. Let us all offer our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord, and in so doing influence our generation, our world, for Jesus Christ.
By John Elliott