Read Hebrews 9:24-28 and John 17:20-26.
“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Hebrews 8:10-11
“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
Look at all our Savior and Redeemer has done for us! And Jesus has called us to be living sacrifices. When we think about sacrifices, we tend to think of the Old Testament sacrifices of lambs, bulls, and things, and we often interpret this as meaning we should be totally devoted to God. We should worship Him, love Him, and follow His commands for us. Those are all good things we should do, but as usual, there is so much more Jesus calls us to.
Being a living sacrifice for God is a life. It’s not just some religion that fits into your already micromanaged lifestyle. It is living for God and obeying all He tells you to do every single day. Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart, maybe telling you to lift your hands while you’re worshipping or to give some money to that person standing out there with a cardboard sign? How many times have you not done it? We’ve all not followed God’s voice at some point in our lives, and we usually have some half-baked excuse along the lines of, “I’m not actually doing anything wrong.” But as James wrote to the early believers, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17) So not obeying the Holy Spirit in doing something good is just as sinful as disregarding the Holy Spirit and doing something bad. This is the kind of obedience Jesus calls us to, and it opens a whole lot more doors than just following a list of rules ever could.
Being a living sacrifice for God is a commitment. It doesn’t matter if you’re angry or tired or frustrated or hungry or in pain or sad or confused, there is no excuse for sin. Even on dark days, God asks for one hundred percent of our devotion. It’s not going to be easy, but God is worthy of our all even when we don’t feel like giving it. No matter what trials we face we are called to be the good and noble heart, the fertile soil for the seed of the gospel (see Luke 8:15). We are also called to give God every part of our lives. Nothing can be held back. Often one of the most intimidating parts of commitment for Christians is giving God total control over your life and access to every corner of your heart. But through this, He helps mend that very area you’re trying to keep Him from.
Being a living sacrifice for God is a mission. The Great Commission states it clearly, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”(Matthew 28:19-20a) Again in Acts 1:8b Jesus says, “…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We are called to be Jesus’ witnesses, telling what we have witnessed of Jesus. You can see how this would be hard if someone didn’t really have much of a relationship with Jesus. Jesus died for the whole world (John 3:16), and He has made us His lights here (Matthew 5:14). If we don’t tell the people around us, who are just like we were and Jesus loves enough to die for, about Jesus, there is no one left. There will be no one to tell them. Being God’s witness will mean having to talk to and get to know unbelievers, and it’s strange how many Christians aren’t willing to do that. But it is what Jesus has told us (multiple times) to do.
Simply put, being a living sacrifice for God is a sacrifice of ourselves. We give up all of our wants, preferences, and personal stubbornness in order to accept God’s great and good plan for us. We have to be willing to place our lives on the altar for Jesus’ glory. God doesn’t make really special or smart people do His work; He uses the people who will devote themselves to Him. God uses our weaknesses to display His strength, so we have to be willing to let ourselves be poured out to the point of being empty. Because it’s only when we’re empty can Jesus truly start to fill us up.
Being devoted to God is a choice, like love. That’s also what fuels devotion: love. It’s not something you develop over time. You’ll grow as you become more like Jesus, but it starts with you saying to God, “God, I love You! I am Your sacrifice. I submit to You. Use me as You see fit.” But if you’re honest about this be aware, He most certainly will use you!
Dear Lord, help me as i try to follow You in all things. It will be hard, but You are stronger. It will be difficult, but You are greater. It will seem big and intimidating, but You are in control. You are in charge. i give You my all Lord Jesus, use me as You see fit! God, You are my Father! Let my life honor You and bring You glory. And let me never take any credit for it, for it is all You! Truly it is all You, my Lord! In Lord Jesus’ Name i pray, Hallelujah! You are in control and i will trust You! Praise the Lord for all His mighty hands have done! Amen!
Really listen to the words of this song. Recklessly abandoned, never holding back, I want to live like that.