A Living Sacrifice

We’re studying Romans in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) this year.

sarah smiles

Sarah comes with me to BSF.

This week the entire lesson was on the first two verses in Romans 12 (I know, it’s a heady pace but I’m trying to keep up). I’ve been thinking a great deal about the passage – I can do this because it’s only two verses, anything longer and my brain crumbles under the weight of my multi-tasking life.

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. Romans 12:1

sarah's sad

Someone doesn’t feel well.

One question from the lesson particularly stood out:

How do people offer their bodies as living sacrifices to God today?

Tim and I discussed this question at length this evening. We talked about the idea of sacrifice and how the Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). Christ came down and lived as a sacrifice for us. At first I wasn’t sure how I could offer my body as a sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. The verse in Romans says it is my spiritual act of worship.

david's push ups

David hurt Sarah’s arm and did push ups as part of his punishment.

sarah's arm

Sarah watched the Punishment Push-ups closely, being sure to point out her wounded arm.

In talking with Tim, I began to see how denying myself is a part of this sacrifice. Death to self. I say no to my desire to overeat, to ignore my children, to sleep all day. I lay down my selfish desires in order to serve God and my family. Every day there are choices that I make that require sacrifice. The Bible says these choices are holy and pleasing to God. When I deny myself and obey God’s Word, I am worshipping Him.

Acts of spiritual worship. When I go through the mundane tasks of my day (and there are many days full of repetitive, unexceptional chores) with a thankful heart, my hands are offered up as a sacrifice that is pleasing to God. He sees the small (and not so small) yielding and surrendering of my heart and life. It is convicting. My body – the actions I take, thoughts I dwell upon, words I speak – should bring glory to God.

As I finished this paragraph a song came on that I didn’t recognize. There was a long musical interlude between verses that was a bit cacophonous so I decided to switch to something else. Just before I did the phrase, “living sacrifice,” caught my attention. Sure enough, the song was Romans 12:1, by Todd Agnew from his Grace Like Rain cd. I’ve listened to this album dozens of times and never noticed this song before. I still don’t like the melody around the verses, but the words of the chorus struck me so powerfully I played it over several times:

“Jesus, we come to worship you. Jesus, we come to lift You high. Jesus, we come to honor You. With our lives. Father we come to You humbly, recognizing Your infinite glory.”

Isn’t that just like the living, all-knowing God to order this song around my blogging. He is so worthy of my praise and sacrifice. I am humbled that He loves me and notices and cares for someone as wretched as I.

I’ll have to leave verse 2 of Romans 12 for tomorrow as it’s late and I’m sacrificing sleep to blog. :)


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6 thoughts on “A Living Sacrifice”

  1. Thank you for sharing this in class today. It was an encouragment to all of us mom’s with less-than exciting lives to offer!

    Love, Beth

  2. Samuel – I’ll tell David. He’s already pretty good at push ups. I’m sure he’ll get plenty of opportunities to work on them. Ha!

  3. Beth – thanks for leading our group! You do a wonderful job. I don’t think this really counts as exciting. I think I have about the craziest, boringest (not a word, I know) job around but God still seems willing to use me and for that I am grateful.

  4. I LOVE that song. {g}

    Motherhood *is* sacrificial love, but we have a fine example of that in Jesus to follow, don’t we?


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