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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Living Sacrifice–My Greatest Investment

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, NIV).

What does it mean for me to be a living sacrifice? What I do–who I am–how I think–how I react–the way I live my life reveals whether I honor the sacrifice of the Savior I have taken into my heart. Jesus sacrificed all of Himself for me. He was my living sacrifice. I worship and honor Him by becoming a living sacrifice for Him. There is nothing I can sacrifice for Him that is as great as what He gave for me. He asks me to live an obedient life. I have learned that my obedience is greater than any sacrifice that I might make.

I can sacrifice anything for the wrong reason, but when I am obedient to His will in what I sacrifice I make His sacrifice the defining reason for my obedience. When His sacrifice completely and totally defines what I am–who I am–how I think–how I react–the way I live my life, a humble spirit has claimed my selfish human heart. A humble spirit is a surrendered spirit. It follows without question whatever God asks. A disobedient spirit rises from a prideful heart. Longing for personal acceptance by others, a disobedient spirit says “no” when the sacrifice calls for complete surrender. A truly obedient spirit reveals respect for the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice, and goes where disobedience never will— into the very heart of God. This is where the joy of obedient sacrifice is discovered–in His presence. I find His joy when I have surrendered all of my life to His will.

If I wish to reap the joyful abundance of His Spirit, then I must invest all of myself by living an obedient life.“Remember this,” Paul wrote, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6, NIV). How much do I invest my life in Him? Do I give Him all of myself or just a part? What do I withhold? I can never know the joy of giving out of love for Him until I live the life He asks me to live. His joy is discovered in giving as He gave His life for me.

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