“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.” (Rom 12:1)
The ultimate offering is when Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin(s). 1 Peter 3:18 reads “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” Galatians 3:13 reads, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.” There is no sacrificial offering like the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If Christ did not die in our place we would forever be stained and saturated in our sin and transgression.
Paul’s urging is for you and I to offer ourselves as an offering completely to the Lord and His service. Before a priest in Israel could minister on behalf of others, he was obliged to present himself in a consecrated condition and the sacrifices he offered were to be without blemish (Mal 1:8-13). The priest offered God a dead sacrifice, while we are called to be a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice can crawl off the altar of obedience. Again Samuel wrote, To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22). We are to offer our lives, our whole lives to the Lord as an offering to Him. What else can we really offer to the One that founded the entire world? Let me close with this illustration.
I recall a true story of a nine year old boy who lived in a rural town in Tennessee. His house was in a poor area of the community. A local church had a bus ministry that came knocking on his door one Saturday afternoon. The kid came to answer the door and greeted the bus pastor. The bus pastor asked the little boy if he and his parents ever went to church. The boy replied no. The bus pastor shared his faith with the young boy whose heart melted at the gospel story. The boy then went to church with the bus pastor. While at the church the little boy just sat there, clue-less of what was going on. A few minutes into the service these tall unhappy guys walked down to the front and picked up some wooden plates. One of the men prayed and the kid with utter fascination watched them walk up and down the aisles. He still didn’t know what was going on.
All of a sudden like a bolt of lightning it hit the kid what was taking place. These people must be giving money to Jesus. He then reflected on the free gift of life he had received just twenty-four hours earlier. He immediately searched his pockets, front and back, and couldn’t find a thing to give Jesus. By this time the offering plate was being passed down his aisle with a broken heart he just grabbed the plate and held on to it. He finally let go and watched it pass on down the aisle.
He turned around to see it passed down the aisle behind him. And then his eyes remained glued on the plate as it was passed back and forth, back and forth all the way to the rear of the sanctuary. Then he had an idea. This little nine year old boy, in front of God and everybody, got up out of his seat. He walked about eight rows back, grabbed the usher by the coat and asked to hold the plate one more time. Then he did the most astounding thing I have ever heard of. He took the plate, put it on the carpeted church floor and stepped into the center of it. As he stood there, he lifted his little head up and said, “Jesus, I don’t have anything to give you today, but just me. I give you me!”
We are to become the offering unto the Lord through our obedience. When you offer yourself fully to the Lord in your time (the way you spend your time), talents (the manner that you use the gifts God bestowed upon you), and treasures (your finances and material blessings), you become the living sacrifice that God desires of you. How are you spending you time; does your schedule reflect His Lordship? How do you use your talents for Him, the ones that He has given you? Does your check book, credit card statement, and spending, reflect that Jesus Christ is Lord of you? May you be an offering worth offering unto the One you call Lord.
Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><