Can you believe Christmas is less than 2 months away? It is time for me to think about what to buy my family.
It seems like each year there is less to spend. I wonder how some families manage.
I wish there wasn't so much emphasis put onto material things. I know several people that make very big sacrifices to see their children happy.
They will sacrifice their own gifts, they will sacrifice on the food budget, they will let bills go unpaid and sacrifice their credit.
A sacrifice is always something being deprived for the benefit of something else.
In the biblical Old Testament, animals were sacrificed on the alter to atone for people's sin. Then God sent Jesus to be a sacrifice, once and for all, for the sins of all mankind.
Now, in the Book of Romans, Paul writes about God's loving kindness. And then he writes,
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1 NASB)
He says, therefore (because of what I just wrote) I URGE (strongly push) ALL OF YOU, because of God's tender kindness, to offer up your bodies as a LIVING AND ESPECIALLY SET APART SACRIFICE, pleasing to God, THIS WOULD BE your spiritual service of worship.
Now read that again.
Our worship service is us offering ourselves to be used by God for His purpose.
We honor God by denying ourselves and our wants and desires and preferences, and giving ourselves into being of service to and for Him, willingly and lovingly.
We are a LIVING SACRIFICE.
The only thing wrong with me being a living sacrifice is that I keep crawling back off the alter.
I offer myself to God, but say no when asked to help in the nursery.
I offer myself to God, but skip out on assembling with the saints.
I offer myself to God, but play on the computer and don't have enough time to read scripture.
I offer myself to God but forget to thank Him for all of His blessings.
Oh, Dear Lord, please help me. Help me in my desire to be pleasing to you. Help me learn to make myself that sacrifice because nothing I can have and nothing I can do compares to the joy and blessings I have in you.