“Living Sacrifice” means a life lived intentionally.

Posted: August 7, 2013 in Other Sermons, Sermon
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Romans 12:1-2,
“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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

We’ve probably all heard this once, if not a million times. But there’s reason to look at it again, and again, and again. This is a choice we must constantly and consistently make, especially as representatives of Christ in each of our own areas and examples to those who come behind us. On a narrow road to a narrow gate with many distractions and detours, filled with construction and confusing signage, people need to know God’s will and direction just as much as we need it in our own life, sometimes it will be our obligation to bring it to them and we need to be prepared.

Romans 15:1-4
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

There were those who came before us, thank God, that laid a foundation for us to work with and grow from. Christ came to take on the reproach that we were destined to face. “Reproach” honestly confused me a little so I looked up the definition to make sure I understood this scripture the right way, “reproach” means “The expression of disapproval or disappointment” or to address someone with such expression. Jesus Himself left heaven to remove the largest obstacle, sin’s death grip, and bear the weight of our well earned disapproval and disappointment. We too must bear the weight of those weaker than us and become a living sacrifice, not living as we would will but instead as an example to others so that we can inject God’s will and plan and purpose into their lives and build them up. In doing so, let us not forget that this is first and foremost our worship to God. Secondly our duty to one another in Christ.

Galatians 6:1-6
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.”

It’s imperative that we watch our steps, in our personal lives and in our ministry, for our own sake and the sake of Christ’s reputation through us. We don’t need to compare ourselves and our giftings to others, and we don’t need to be discouraged by our weaknesses. We’re human. We’re different, none of us have the same fingerprints, or purpose, or giftings, or strengths. But we all have something, and God put you where you are now so that you can use that something.

1 Timothy 4:6-16
“If you point these things…”

(from verse 4 and 5, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”)

“out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

In our respective areas, we all want to be good ministers, hopefully. What we need in order to be good ministers is simply the renewing of our mind, to become a living sacrifice, to train ourselves in godliness, living in the will of God. I don’t know about you, but often when I would hear this scripture they point out “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young” as if it were some rebellious spirit of inspiration, but I don’t see anywhere that is says “and when you get old you can stop doing these things”. All it says to me is that it’s never to early to start and always too early to stop. We need to set the example and pour ourselves into this diligently. We have before us the opportunity to save anyone listening, and all we have to do is what we can.

I believe Scripture can speak for itself, so let’s pick up again where we started off in Romans 12 to wrap this up…

Romans 12:3-8
” For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a]faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Simple. Many of us, many gifts, one powerful God, one mission. Let’s do it.

“Living Sacrifice” means a life lived intentionally.

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