April 26, 2004
Encouragement for Today
A Heart for God
Micca Campbell, Speaker, Writer, and Assistant Director of Proverbs 31 Ministries
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1 (NKJ)
One of my favorite Christmas cards says, “What can I give to Christ? I can give Him my heart.” God desires our whole hearts. Many believe that is what they give Him when they surrender their lives for the first time. Yet, coming to Christ for salvation is only the beginning. It takes a lifetime of daily surrendering our heart before God has every part of it. It’s through the continual process of saying no to our own will and yes to God’s that He gains our whole heart.
The Apostle Paul instructs us to do this by presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice. “Bodies” represents our entire being, every part, our entire lives, and a fully committed heart that holds nothing back.
Many of us, however, linger at the foot of the cross where we found forgiveness and eternal life not realizing Christ died to give us so much more. He came that we might have a life filled with joy, peace and purpose. We can only experience His resurrection life in us by first identifying with His death. We do this by presenting our bodies [our whole heart] to Christ.
As a child of God, we do not belong to ourselves. We have been bought by the blood of Jesus. Our only response is to give God our rights, our plans, and our whole heart. Responding to His amazing love displayed on the cross results in the sacrifice of a yielded life. In turn, by giving God our heart, we become a living sacrifice He can use.
In the Old Testament, the sacrifice of an animal was made as an act of worship. However, God is not asking for our physical death. He wants us to be a living sacrifice. We no longer come to God with an animal offering. Laying aside our own will, we offer God a fully committed heart. Paul adds that this is our reasonable service. If Christ died for me, the least I can do is live for Him.
I can recall the time I yielded my entire heart to Christ. As His child, I was still trying to do all and be everything to everyone. Weary and frustrated I cried out to God, “Is this all life is about?” Then I began to notice Romans 12:1 appearing in my life over and over. I knew it was God’s answer. I knew He was asking for my whole heart.
At first, dying to myself brought grief. I was afraid of what God might have me to do or what He might allow into my life. Somehow it didn’t matter any more. As I prayed, I pictured myself tied down on the altar of sacrifice. I knew when the fire of life got too hot I would want to jump off and take control again. No longer wanting that lifestyle, I offered my heart entirely to my Lord. I asked Him to forgive me for holding back parts of my life. I rose from that altar, a transformed child of God. Peace, joy and love flooded my heart and I knew He reigned in my life. Since then, with God leading the way, I’ve had dreams come true that I never thought possible.
What can you give to God? You can give Him your heart. A heart for God is reflected in a life of service that holds nothing back. Is there something in your life that is keeping you from being a living sacrifice? It’s our nature to move away from God while keeping control over certain areas of our lives. However, it’s when we trust Gods’ love for us and offer Him our hearts completely that we find the life we’ve been looking for. Isaac Watts says it best in his well known hymn; “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my heart, my life, my all.” Give Him your heart today.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Jesus, forgive me for living life my way. I acknowledge you as Lord of my life. I surrender my whole heart to you. Take me and use me for your glory. Amen.
Offer God the thing that is keeping you from giving Him your whole heart. He will give you the power to let go and live for Him.
What are you afraid of in giving God your whole life?
Do you trust Him enough to give you purpose and satisfaction?
What have you gained by being in charge of your life?
What can God offer you by being Lord of your Life?
I Corinthians 6:19 Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and ye are not your own? (KJV)
Mark 12:30 And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. (KJV)
Luke 6:46 Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do the things I say? (KJV)
Matthew 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
How to Live a Life of Victory by Mary Southerland
Radically Obedient; Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
Who Holds the Key to your Heart by Lysa TerKeurst
Originally published Monday, 26 April 2004.