Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (NIV)
Sacrifice has little meaning in the modern age. We think we are sacrificing when we stop eating donuts for a few days. The ancient world would have readily understood what Paul was saying in this verse. A sacrifice in those times meant the sacrifice of an animal. It meant the killing of the animal and the burning of its body on an altar. A sacrifice was complete. It was total. There would be nothing left.
This is what God wants from us. He wants our complete and total surrender to Him in every single thing, in every single place, at every single moment of our lives. Is this because He is a dictator and a tyrant? No, it is because, first of all, He is worthy and deserving of nothing less. His perfection alone requires our complete surrender. It is also because of His love. Do you want the affection of your beloved to be divided with another? God loves us totally and completely, and He desires the same from us.
Is there anything you have held back from the altar? Is there a part of your life, your possessions, your time that you have reserved for you alone? God wants it. He wants it for the simple reason that He wants all of you.
Father, it is easy for me to compartmentalize my life, to give certain aspects to certain people, and yes, to give only parts of it to You. Today I lay down my entire life on the altar of Your glory. It is Yours. Grant me the grace not to pick it up again. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, amen.
Copyright © 2012 by Steven R. Perkins