Summary: God wants our lives to be given as living sacrifices unto Him. We are not be conformers to the world but transformers of the lost and of ourselves.
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Pastor James May
CONFORMER OR TRANSFORMER
Romans 12:1-2, "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."
God is always looking for those who will give God their best. He isn’t looking for those who will only talk about Him. He isn’t looking for only those who will mimic Him or mock Him. God is looking for those who will serve Him with all their heart.
There are far too many half-hearted, uncommitted Christians. God is much like the U.S. Marine Corps whose recruiting motto is, “We are looking for a few good men!”
I can hear Paul as he speaks out to the church at Rome, and to us also, I beg you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Give your best to the Lord. He deserves only your best and nothing less will do.
In the Old Testament, Israel was commanded to bring their sacrifices into the tabernacle to be placed upon the altar of God. That sacrifice had to be perfect, without spot or blemish, and it had to be given by the willing heart of man for it to be acceptable. That sacrifice was offered as atonement for their sin.
When that lamb, or bullock was given to the temple priests to be prepared for the sacrifice, the owner relinquished all rights to the animal. From that moment forth, it became the property of God. No part of the sacrificial animal was ever used for any other purpose than as a sacrifice unto God. It was sacred and dedicated. The owner could not take it back. The priests could not use its flesh for meat. Every part of it was consumed upon the altar or poured out upon the altar for the cleansing of the sin of Israel.
How can we, as Christians, think that God will require anything less from us? Thank God we don’t have to offer up sacrificial lambs, goats, and bulls anymore but God still requires a sacrifice of us. We are not required to offer ourselves upon the cross; Jesus has already paid our debts. We are not required to bring sacrifices into the church every week to place upon a fiery altar and then sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice upon the corners of the altar. None of these things are necessary for we live under a different dispensation of Grace instead of the dispensation of Law. Jesus Christ paid the price once for all sin and now we have a different sacrifice that we must offer to God.
Paul tells us that the sacrifice we must offer is a reasonable one. God is not demanding some impossible thing from us. God knows our limitations, our weaknesses and our frailties. Yet God requires us to give an offering that is entirely possible for us to give.
That offering is our life and our body in faithful service to Him.
The Jews of the Old Testament had to kill their sacrifice before placing it upon the altar for it would have been terrible to have to burn an animal while it was still alive. God takes no pleasure in suffering. He takes no pleasure in pain and sickness. God loves man so why would God want man to suffer? Anyone who thinks that God doesn’t care should remember that Jesus went to the cross and died when we didn’t deserve His love and He did it because He loved us anyway. Why would our God desire to see us suffer and yet pay such a terrible price because the He loved us?
God wants a living sacrifice from us. He wants a living, breathing, energetic body to work through to accomplish the ministry that He wants to accomplish in us.