Through the years, before Jesus died on the cross, God called the Israelites to offer animals as sacrifices for their sin. Sacrifice was a symbol for the coming Jesus, and He would one day die for our sins. Sacrifice also showed the people they needed to be obedient to God and His instructions as this act acknowledged God as the holy ruler of everything. Because sacrifices were offered repeatedly at regular time intervals they were also a way for the people to develop some spiritual disciplines.
Then Jesus came and gave his own life on the cross to pay the ultimate, everlasting sacrifice for our sins. Just before He died, Jesus said, “It is finished.” He died for all the sins … past, present, and future. We no longer have to offer sacrifices to pay for our sins. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and make him Lord of our lives, our sins are transferred to Jesus’ account and are forgiven. PAID IN FULL! The really cool bonus is that Jesus’ righteousness, His perfection, is credited to our account.
But we are called to be a living sacrifice. We die to our selves and surrender our lives to Him. He wants us to turn the control of our minds and bodies over to His care. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done; not my kingdom come, my will be done. He views the total submission of our lives for His control and use as our ultimate act of worship, our living sacrifice.
Most of us like to feel in control. The thought of turning control over to someone else, even a loving and caring God, might seem frightening, too risky, or just unappealing. What we need to remember is that God is a merciful and compassionate God. He wants what is best for us … and only He knows what that really is. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. We aren’t. How much better to submit to His control, to trust His plan, than to stick to our “I can do it myself” attitude.
Today, are you struggling with a temptation … a problem … a challenge area in your life right now? Sacrifice your agenda for God’s. Why not? Look where your way has gotten you. Apply God’s agenda for one week; really practice it daily. Ask others for their prayer, encouragement, and accountability in this quest. See the power of God when you submit completely to His plan?
Dear Holy God, I thank You for Jesus. I thank You that through Him, my sins are forgiven. I have committed my life to You and claim to make You Lord of every area of my life. But so many times I try to take control again. I know this shows a lack of trust in You. Please forgive me. May my body … all that I am … be a living sacrifice to You. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who was the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, 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. 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.