When the Music Fades-Part 4 (Sacrificing Your Life)
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship”. Rom 12:1
In the last few weeks we have been discussing a life of worship. We talked about how a life of worship is a life that is presented and consecrated before God. And in this final segment we will talk about how that life is supposed to be presented and consecrated; sacrificially. The Bible says to present our bodies as a sacrifice to the Lord as a form of reasonable worship to Him. A sacrifice is the act of willingly offering up something precious to God. It’s the idea of choosing to die to our wants and desires in light of a view of something greater. It can oftentimes be a difficult action because it requires offering something that is usually of great value to us. It’s never the little things that we struggle to sacrifice. That would be too easy. Sacrifice is sacrifice because it forces us to let go of something we love and, without regret, offer it to the One who loves us.
“But whatever things that were gain, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that I count all things loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus My Lord.” Phil 3:8
Paul lived a life of sacrifice. Everything he had was always offered up to God. But, the only way he could live like that is because he valued knowing Jesus more than anything he could ever give up to do so. He loved his Savior and all of who He was. There was nothing in Paul’s life that even compared to his passion for knowing Christ and because of that he held everything loosely. Anything could be gladly sacrificed at a moments notice, because knowing Jesus surpassed it all. That’s where a sacrificial life begins; at the place where your heart is joined to His. You see, sacrificing becomes a lot easier when you are in love with the one you are sacrificing for. When we have a correct view of God, willingly offering ourselves to Him should give us as much pleasure as it gives Him; because what pleases Him ought to be what pleases us as well.
But why? Why is offering our lives as a sacrifice pleasing to God? You see, so often we focus on what the sacrifice is to the one who is offering it. When we hear the word sacrifice we automatically think about how much it must have taken to give up this or that. We think about the pain it may have caused or the loss that was endured. But, we don’t often think of sacrifice from the side of the one to whom it is being offered. Friends, God doesn’t want our sacrifice because of rules and regulations. Our sacrifice is worship to Him because it tells him a story. A story of His worth to us. A story of His value in our eyes.
When God called Abraham to sacrifice his only son Issac, I’m sure he was grieved to the core of his very being. He had prayed and waited for this son for years. Issac was Abrahams promise from God. He was his everything and yet when God asked for him, Abraham agreed with no questions asked. He was obedient and God honored that.
“And God said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear and revere God, since you have not held back from Me or begrudged giving Me your son, your only son.'” Gen 22:12
God asked Abraham to sacrifice because it proved Abraham’s respect for Him. Through his obedience God was able to see the value Abraham had for Him and it was pleasing unto God. You see, Paul and Abraham had something in common; both were willing to run to the altar of sacrifice simply in order to say, “God, I love you!” Friends our sacrifices tell God something. They scream of His worth in our hearts. As we present our consecrated bodies to Him as an offering of our own free will, it swells the heart of the father. Sometimes it requires the offering of our time. Other times we may need to offer sacrifices of our talents or treasures. But we have to know that whatever the offering is, they are sweet-smelling aromas that proclaim to our King, “Lord! We love you!” That’s why it is worship. It’s a way we show Him that He is more important than anything and everything else in our lives. An obedient life of sacrifice is essentially the way we love back the God who loved us first.
So, as we seek to have lives of worship both on and off stage we have to remember that it is not just about the “doing”, but it is about the “being”. It’s about us being continually available to the Lord and separated from the world in a sacrificial way that proves to Him that He is valuable to us. Friends, let’s live lives that cherish the smile on His face more than the sacrifice in our hands. There is not a sacrifice we can offer that will ever be able to exceed the value of the One to whom it is offered to. It’s His worth that ought to determine our worship, so let’s live lives that loudly declare, “He is worthy of it ALL!!!!”
Questions to Journal Through
1. If God were to measure His worth is your eyes according to your attitude towards sacrifices in your life, how would it make Him feel? And what steps could you take to change that?
2. What is God calling you to willingly offer up to Him as a form of worship? Be honest and write about your struggle in doing so.
3. Living a sacrificially presented and consecrated life begins with your love for the Father. Spend some time reflecting on who God is and all He has done by writing a love letter to Him.