Summary: In order to be living sacrifices we must Know His will, and change our thinking
We are called to be living sacrifices. A sacrifice is something we give up. Most of the time we think of sacrifices we think of suffering or pain. Yet, we are called to offer up sacrifices of Praise and Thanksgiving. A sacrifice is a service we are called to be living sacrifices.
When someone becomes great at what they do it is usually because they spent years dedicating themselves to it. Pete Rose didn’t just wake up one day as a great ball player; he dedicated his life to being a great ball player. Tori Murden didn’t just hop into a boat one day out of the blue and row across the ocean – it took her three tries before she made and countless hours of preparation and training.
Back in the late eighties Meryl Streep stared in a movie called Ironweed. She played a ragged derelict that died in a cheap motel room. For more than half an hour before the scene, she hugged a bag of ice cubes in an agonizing attempt to discover what it was like to be a corpse. When the cameras came on, she would just lay there as Jack Nicholson cried and shook her limp body. The just laid there for take after take and in between take too. One of the crewmembers got scared and went the director and said, What’s going on? She’s not breathing!” When the director looked at her he saw no signs of life, but he let the camera keep rolling. After the scene was done and cameras were off she still didn’t move. It took ten minutes for her to come out of the state she had sunk herself into. The director was amazed and said, “Now that’s acting! That is an actress!” She was willing to go the extra mile and do the unthinkable in order to be a great actress. I wish more Christians had that level of zeal when it comes to their walk with the Lord.
In Roman twelve Paul exhorts us to be living sacrifices to God – lay all that we are on the altar. The only problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off the altar. We must stay on the altar; we must value Christ above all else if we are to continue to grow as Christians.
1.To Know His Will (v2b)
a. Jesus said he came to do the will of Him who sent him. (John 4:34, 6:38)
b. He sought the will of His Father not his own. (Luke 22:42)
c. Some treat God like a magic Genie who is there to do their bidding
d. Living Sacrifices seek God’s will
e. In order to know His will we have to seek Him (Matt 6:33)
2. We must Change our thinking (v2a)
a. Jesus says many times, “You have heard it said…but I say to you.” (Matt 5)
a. Murder (v21)
b. Adultery (v27)
c. Swearing (v33)
d. Revenge (v38)
e. Love your enemies (v43)
b. Our ways are not to be the ways of the World but His way.
In Yorkshire, England, during the early 1800s, two sons were born to a family named Taylor. The older one set out to make a name for himself by entering Parliament and gaining public prestige. However, the younger son chose to give his life to Christ. He later recalled, “Well do I remember, as in unreserved consecration I put myself, my life, my friends, my all, upon the altar. I felt I was in the presence of God, entering into covenant with the Almighty.” With that commitment, Hudson Taylor turned his face toward China and obscurity. As a result, he is known and honored on every continent as a faithful missionary and the founder of the China Inland Mission (now known as Overseas Missionary Fellowship). For the other son, however, there is no lasting monument. When you look in the encyclopedia to see what the other son has done, you find these words, “the brother of Hudson Taylor.”
3. Offer ourselves up
a. Sacrifice refers to giving something
f. Using our gifts
b. It is living the Way that Jesus did
b. Read His word and see.
We are no longer to pattern our lives after the world, but after the God we say we serve.
God has given us all a sweet spot—in fact, Paul says that God has given us the gift of a sweet spot so that we could serve God and produce the maximum result and maximum satisfaction both for God and for us. Mark McGwire said, “When I feel the ball hit right on the sweet spot, a home run is just around the corner.” I believe that when we serve Jesus from our spiritual sweet spot, a spiritual home run is just around the corner. Paul calls that we have a sweet spot, a spiritual gift—a special talent or ability that God has supernaturally given us so that we can produce the maximum result in making a world of difference in our community and around the globe and experience the maximum satisfaction.
Let us live for HIM.