Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
We are called to be living sacrifices. But what does that mean???
The word sacrifice has many definitions. It can be used as a noun, a verb, etc. But the one that really struck me came from Miriam-Webster's Online dictionary.
Sacrifice: an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially the killing of a victim on an altar.
Wow. So I could probably pick that apart all day, but I won't. I'll stick with the things that stuck out at me that most.
The first thing that struck me in the definition of the word sacrifice are the words 'an act'. The word act is literally defined as "the doing of a thing: Deed." This means we have to do something. I think a lot of the time we think Christianity is about what we don't do. We don't do drugs. We don't have premarital sex. We don't commit adultery. We don't murder. We don't... We don't... We don't...
This is saying that it isn't all about what we don't do. This is about what we do, do. Yeah. Shut up :)
The next thing that really stood out to me is that a sacrifice is something precious. Wow. This just makes me smile! Paul said that we are to be living sacrifices because, and get this, we are precious to God. We are of great value to Him. We are cherished.
I know there are times that I do not feel precious. I feel anything but. I feel as though God doesn't even see me. I'm just another voice crying out in a sea of millions of people. But this says differently. This says I am precious. This makes my heart smile.
The third part of this definition is the GREATEST PART. Tacked on the end of the definition of the word sacrifice it says "especially the killing of a victim on an altar."
That's a little bit scary.
But we aren't called to kill anything on an altar, or to even die on an altar ourselves. We are called to be living sacrifices. We don't have to die.
Because Christ did it for us.
How cool is that?
As my 6 year old daughter so eloquently puts it "we do things after Jesus, because he did them first. He died for us so we don't have to do that'.
I couldn't have put it any better. He died for us so that we don't have to. That was his sacrifice. And I can't think of any better of a precious gift that could be offered. We talk about how he offered this sacrifice for us, but in my mind, ultimately, he did it because his Father asked him to. This was his sacrifice, his precious gift to God. Christ was the sacrifice, his body beaten and broken, given to his Father, for us, so that we may have a chance at eternal life.
Our bodies are called to be sacrifices too, but because of Christ, we are called to be the living sacrifice. Holy and acceptable to God.
The problem with a living sacrifice is that it tends to crawl off the altar.
We just have to keep throwing it back up there. Every day we mess up. We sin. We say things we shouldn't. We do things we shouldn't. We have a bad attitude. Whatever. We sin. Every day. And we get down on ourselves. Sometimes we let those sins take us over and we feel like we're never going to get it right and we just give up. But the fact is that if you take a lamb and you lay it up on an altar, it isn't going to lay there. It's going to crawl down. It is that way with us, too. If you sin, get back up on the altar. Start over. Do it again. You sin. Get back up on the altar. Do it again. That's what a living sacrifice is.
A friend of mine said today that she wasn't shining Jesus today at lunch. I don' t know what made me say it, but I said "we're only humans. The only person who shined Jesus 24/7 was Jesus himself'.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.