Giving Our Lives for a Far Greater Cause


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1)

The thought of being a sacrifice does not sound very appealing. To sacrifice something means “an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity” and a sacrifice is “an animal, person or object offered in the act of sacrifice.”[1] Who wants to be a sacrifice, even a living one?

Giving by Tom Parsons-426898-unsplash
Photo by Tom Parsons on Unsplash

Most of the time, when the word “sacrifice” is being used, it refers to a religious system where sacrifices are needed to get the deity’s attention, favour or help. None of these things are true in the Christian faith. The Bible tells us that, though we need God’s attention, favour and help, it was He that made the first move. God the Son, came down to humanity and embraced our frailty and brokenness by wrapping Himself in human flesh and becoming one of us. Then, Jesus acted contrary to the way that all other religions in the world are set up: He sacrificed Himself to make all things right between us and God. No more sacrifices are needed.

Jesus has done it all. He took away all our guilt and shame, He more than paid the full cost of forgiveness for all people everywhere, He won eternal life for us, He brought us into God’s family as beloved daughters and sons, He gave us the gift of new life with Him and He forged a bond with us that He will never break.

In light of all that Jesus has done for us and the way that our lives have already changed because of Jesus, the word “sacrifice” takes on an entirely new meaning. We don’t need anything else anymore. We already have Jesus. But our unbelieving friends, neighbours and family members do not. Jesus gives us the opportunity to give our lives for a far greater cause than living for ourselves in the here and now. With Jesus, we can be “living sacrifices” as we spend our lives loving those around us with the love that He has first given to us. And something counter-intuitive happens when we do that: as we lose our lives in service to others, we unexpectedly find that we gain a life that we would have never dreamed of having, a life that is rich with meaning and purpose and full of joy and blessing. And we become better people in the process.

Dear Jesus, help me to stop making sacrifices to try to earn Your attention or love. Instead, help me to receive and rest in the unconditional love and infinite that You already have for me. Transform me from the inside out and help me to spend my life loving others with Your love. Amen.

 

[1] Source “Sacrifice,” English Oxford Living Dictionaries (available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sacrifice).

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