Scripture Reading: Romans 12:1
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
God commands us to offer up acceptable sacrifices. An acceptable sacrifice is not the killing of an animal as in the Old Testament. The sacrifice God accepts today is different. What, then, is the acceptable sacrifice?
The above scripture names the acceptable sacrifice: your bodies. Paul believes so much in this principle that he appeals to us by the mercies of God to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Unlike dead animals on the altar, we are to offer ourselves up to God while we are alive. Jesus was the first fruits of a living sacrifice that was offered up to God on the cross. When we offer ourselves to God, we prove to Him that His Son did not die in vain. Jesus was God's perfect sacrifice making it possible for our sacrifice to bring good pleasure to God.
Most people miss the order of the sacrifice.
God wants us to offer ourselves before we offer our services. Before Isaiah could do work for God, his sin had to be purged from him (Isaiah 6). Before we can do effective work, we too must be consecrated and set apart for God. Surely, we can work in the kingdom, but is it effective? Do we find our work laborious? Do we lack power and the anointing to do the work with ease? Perhaps it is because we are trying to offer our services without first having offered ourselves?
The offering of ourselves should always come before the offering of our services. Don't attempt to offer services to God without having first offered yourself upon the altar.
This is a good time to present yourselves to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him. Let this be your spiritual act of worship during this Lenten season.
Read and meditate on the Lenten lesson for Day 21.