Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1 NIV)
Let us continue Paul's message about being "A Living Sacrifice". What does it mean to lay our lives on God's altar?
Since the days of the Exodus, wherever a tabernacle or temple stood, faithful Jews would bring the best of their flocks and herds to a priest standing at the altar of God. It was an act of devotion , a command: The offering would, at times, serve as
- a symbol of sin and it's ugly consequences;
- as a sacrifice of gratitude, acknowledging that every good gift comes from God; or
- as an act of devotion and worship, a gift from a loving heart.
Regardless of the reason, the origin of the sacrifice was always God - human beings clearly never created a ram or a bull - and sacrifice was always a reminder of the horrible gap between the Creator and the created.
As believers saved by grace, there is, however, an appropriate response. It has nothing to do with merit or guilt, but only with the thankfulness that should naturally flow from a redeemed heart. IT IS OUR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP!
The response is for us to walk to that tabernacle or temple as the Israelites did in days of old, approach the Priest, and hand Him the sacrifice that we brought out of our gratitute: OURSELVES. We are to envision our High Priest (Jesus) doing His duty by taking the sacrifice, placing it on the altar of God, and accepting it in His Name. But unlike the old sacrifices, this sacrifice LIVES. It lives a dedicated life, an altar life. It now belongs to the Priest. We are in His hands.
Being a living sacrifice is more than a holy obligation; it is a holy passion. Living sacrifices don't live for themselves. They live for ANOTHER. That's their service of WORSHIP!
What is your take? Like to inspire you with this song "WE ARE AN OFFERING" by Chris Christian ... the chorus : All that we have, All that we are, All that we hope to be, We give to you.
Blessings - TPWC (Ricky)
Note: For Part 1 - What Is Your Worship Like? go to : http://thepraiseandworshipconnection.blogspot.com