The Most Precious Type of Worship
By Jennifer Slattery
“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
The problem with living sacrifices—they easily crawl off the altar.
That phrase, spoken by a pastor nearly two decades ago, often replays through my mind. It reminds me my worship is revealed most by how I live.
Sunday morning, with praise music stirring within and around me, it’s easy to make grand commitments. I’ll serve in that new ministry, reach out to the impoverished, or become more diligent in prayer.
But then Monday hits with all its chaos and demands, and suddenly my priorities shift. I let people—and my prideful desire for affirmation—take prominence over obedience and surrender. Tired and frustrated, I waste my time scrolling through Facebook or watching Netflix instead of making those ministry calls I’d planned.
I begin to elevate my rights. This heart-infection, when engaged, opposes everything my Savior wants from and for me.
But then I remember.
I remember the hopelessness I felt as I wandered the streets of Tacoma, Washington, guzzling malt liquor. I remember the early years in my marriage, when my husband I spent much of our time fighting with one another. I remember the financial debt that crippled my family as we regularly put our desire for stuff above reason and prudence.
I remember how God intervened in each of those situations and aligned my life with His will.
I consider where I’d be now, had Jesus not intervened.
But mostly, I remember what He experienced to set me free—the suffering He endured, willingly, to pay the final price, as the long promised sacrificial lamb.
As I meditate on all He’s done and continues to do for a lowly sinner like me, my selfishness and pride begin to die as love blossoms in my soul—a love that gives me the strength to climb back on that altar, surrendering all I am to Him, to be used by Him however He chooses.
For His glory not mine. That’s the type of worship God desires.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, available for free (in ebook form) from Wholly Loved Ministries. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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Originally published Sunday, 23 June 2019.