Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 NAS
I wonder what comes to your mind when you think of the word “sacrifice?” How about “holy sacrifice?”
In all transparent honesty, while I know in my head that I can come to the Father with boldness through Jesus Christ, I also feel deeply and know full well that I am far from “acceptable” or “holy” on my own. My very best efforts come up tainted as dirty rags before His throne.
It’s interesting to me that right after urging us to offer ourselves as sacrifices to God, Paul admonishes us to get our thinking removed from our old, familiar, worldly thought patterns. I think the Lord’s definition of sacrifice is often much different from our own and that’s why we need transformed thinking.
There’s been times I worked so hard and poured out so much to serve the Lord, only to hear my own short patience snap somewhere around the finish line. And I hear the Lord echo those words He said to Martha... “you are worried about many things,” parenthetically, things that God didn’t ask for or desire; things that make us more tired than good; things that take our focus off the One we want to serve and onto that which is not worthy of all our fuss and bother. There’s been times I gave my best to the Lord and later saw how marred with self and pride those efforts were. Sometimes I’ve dedicated myself to a sacrificial act with abandon, only to later sense the Lord redirecting those labors. Sometimes I’m quick to dismiss my daily sacrifices as not as important or valuable in the Lord’s sight because they aren’t as glorious as someone else’s. It’s easy to feel that the missionary who sacrificed home and comfort is making the more worthy sacrifice than I am here on the home front. Or that famous women who accomplished things like founding a Sunday school publishing house, Christian camp, hospitals or orphanages, are the ones who are really making worthy sacrifices for the Lord. My piddly little offerings don’t feel as grand or visible, so it’s easy to write them off as rubbish. Yet it was the widow’s mite that brought such joy to Jesus; more joy than any other monetary offering recorded (Mark 12:41-44). My idea of sacrifice isn’t always His.
Praise can be a sacrifice to God. (Hebrews 13:15-16)
Loving others as Christ loved us is a sacrifice. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Financial aid for another can be a sacrifice. (Philippians 4:18-20)
Trusting God can be a sacrifice. (Psalm 4:5)
When was the last time you placed your unbelief on the altar and made a faith-filled sacrifice of it? How have you recently loved someone in the footsteps of your Lord? Have you recently given financially in a way that was a true sacrifice? How has your praise been a sacrifice?
This week our Summer Refreshment theme is “sacrifice” -- so how is the Lord prompting your heart to sacrifice right now? Could the Lord be calling you to a place of high and holy sacrifice in your everyday living that is your “widow’s mite?”
The give-away this week is a novel based on a true story of a Christian woman who sacrificed much for her faith. You'll love Kathi Macias' Red Ink--part of the Extreme Devotion series. Enter the drawing below.
Get this week's pdf. of verses for our sacrifice theme here. Sign-up to join us for the Summer Refreshment series via email, facebook, twitter or join the Pinterest group board. In case you've missed any of the facebook Bible verse covers, click here. Have a blessed week!
April Motl is a pastor’s wife who loves to laugh, loves her man, loves to talk on the phone entirely too long and most of all, loves her Lord. Collaborating with the efforts of her husband Eric, the two of them share a ministry dedicated to bringing God’s Word into the everyday lives of married couples, men and women. April has been privileged through her own church and ministry outside her local body to share God's Word with women ranging in ages and stages, across denominations, and walks of life. April is a graduate from Southern California Seminary and has written for Just Between Us Magazine, Dayspring's (In)courage, and The Secret Place and also writes regularly for crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com and Women's Ministry Tools. For more information, visit Motl Ministries at: www.MotlMinistries.com