I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
What is sacrifice?
Through research and study one would find plenty of descriptions and definitions of the word sacrifice.
A few that stuck out to me when I searched the word were these:
- An act of offering to a deity something precious - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- A destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else -Merriam-Webster Online
- An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important
Although all three of these apply, furthermore, what does it mean to be a "living" sacrifice?
We are all familiar with sacrifice in terms of death, whether it be a person or an animal. We read a lot about this in the Old Testament. It is a Biblical fact that innocent blood had to be shed for the remission of sin. Before the days of Jesus Christ innocent blood came from animal sacrifices until God sent his only begotten Son.
Jesus took the place of those innocent animals, which only temporarily covered sin.
Jesus came to earth to become the ultimate sacrifice by laying down his very own life, opening doors of opportunity for all, and making it easier than ever before to be forgiven of sin. Now we no longer need to go to an altar somewhere out back every time we sin and slay and animal to cover our sins. All we need to do is accept Christ into our heart, believe that he lived, died, and resurrected for our transgressions, and ask him to forgive for our sins allowing his blood to wash away our iniquity.
Just as Jesus was an example of a "living sacrifice", so also we should live our lives as Christ.
Even though sin deserves death, we don't have to go to the extremes of crucifixion.
It may mean we lay down other things in our life, beyond the physical but rather the flesh. Dying to self, meaning; to sacrifice things that appease the flesh. Some of these "things" may include: our favorite movies, music, video games, time, food, and money. Although these things aren't necessarily bad, if they are hindering your relationship with the Lord, its time to surrender those things for something of far greater value. It may affect your reputation in the worlds eyes, but in the end you will develop favor in Gods eyes.
When I think of a living sacrifice, I think of something that continues with life which is a constant thing. When we are willing to give up the little things, we are ultimately giving our lives for the cause of Christ, allowing him to bless us with greater things. It may not be physical as a result of death but rather sacrificed, yet alive. After all, the scripture does refer to us presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, which is our reasonable service.
Our Savior died a brutal, bloody death. He's not asking too much of us to make sacrifices on a daily basis, but if it were to get to the point were your life was on the line, would you still be willing to make that sacrifice?
Even if it cost you your life?
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
In the end to be a "living sacrifice" is far more then just words and definitions.
It's a lifestyle, a choice, and a commitment to please Christ.
Will you present your life as a living sacrifice to the Lord or will you live a
half-hearted life when God deserves your all?
Written By: Hannah Johnson