Living Sacrifice

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).

In some religions, the follower is asked to die in the name of their god. This is how they live out what they believe. They are asked to sacrifice themselves (or someone else). To which, there is no words – only heartache.

It is different for those who have trusted in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, our new life begins. We are forever His! Christianity brings us into relationship with our God and Creator, through His Son Jesus Christ!


Living Sacrifice

We are asked to become a living sacrifice, in view of God’s mercies who through His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day to give us new life. The debt we owed has been paid in full!

While some may ask their members to sacrifice themselves “for the cause,” we are urged to do something very differently. We are urged to come and follow Jesus Christ, not religion. It is a relationship with the Most High God!

It Is Done!

God’s Son Jesus Christ has accomplished the work we could never complete. He is the One who has saved us. It is not about what we could do in the name of religion, but what has been done for us! “In view of God’s mercies, offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”

Highest Aim

Do you want to honestly please God? This is the KEY to doing so.

Give yourselves to God, through His Son Jesus Christ! Answer Jesus’ call to “come follow Me” and allow Him to make our burdens light (Matthew 11:28-30).”

Choose to live a holy life based on the Bible and keep following our Savior and King – even when temptation does come. It is where we find eternal life, freedom, and peace. When we choose to glorify God, we are seeking to please and obey Him (even when we do it imperfectly)

Holy (Set Apart) Living

Meeting with Jesus each day is an important of following Jesus. By doing so, I am placing myself in the right spiritual environment to worship Him and continually follow Him through the Bible, prayer, and fellowship with others who are following Jesus too.

Each day, we can choose to follow Him. His mercies are made new each morning. And He offers us His companionship, forgiveness, and amazing love.

There is no substitution for our relationship with Jesus Christ!

It is choosing to trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and King of our lives. And, this is how we will please Him.

This is the worship we can seek.

Making Promises to God {{Week 5}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:33-35; Numbers 30:2

Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not make false vows, but you shall fulfill your vows to the Lord [as a religious duty].’ But I say to you, do not make an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God; or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King (Matthew 5:33-35, AMP).

 If a man makes a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself with a pledge [of abstinence], he shall not break (violate, profane) his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth (Numbers 30:2).

Devotion

In the context of this passage, we are taught to not issue promises to God. It is not good for us to say, “I will do _________.” While it is our human tendencies to make promises, we tend to not be able to keep them. Things are constantly arising in our lives. Not only that, but God is sacred and holy. Our relationship with God is unlike any other relationship we have, in our lives!

How are we realizing, as Christ followers, the significance of such a promise made?

I remember one time, where I made such a promise to God. I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing. But bottom line, I was afraid and quickly forgetting the greatness of my God. He doesn’t need our promises. He doesn’t need our promises, to activate His life-saving (and changing) grace!

When Scripture teaches us that it is better to not make oaths, God really knows what He is talking about. When we make oaths, we don’t know what the future or even God’s will has in store. Making promises seem to be the popular in the reality of daily living. We remember our human fraility and try to use “pinky promises” to get our kids and others to just be faithful to what they have said.

God is faithful!

Even when we are faithless, God is completely faithful!

Allow God to show you His greatness in your life.

When we begin to grasp, really grasp, the greatness of our God, we won’t make promises. This is the point, where we are utterly aware that God is far greater than we could ever comprehend. God is not one we should “make deals” with. God is Awesome and the richest Treasure of this world.

My hope is to remember the sacredness of our great God. He is very good to His people. We have no way of knowing what circumstances lie ahead, and how it will affect how we carry out our promises.

Lord, Remove the blinders from our eyes. I pray You would show us Your greatness. Help us to remember there is none like You. Thank You that You are sacred, holy, and pour out Your truths in our lives! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Matthew 7: Selecting the Sacred

“Don’t give precious things to dogs. Don’t cast your pearls
before swine. If you do, the pigs will trample the pearls with
their little pigs’ feet, and then they will turn back
and attack you(Mt. 7:6, VOICE).”

As soon as we begin reading Matthew 7, we are met with this realization that we need to utilize standards. God-given standards. We need standards of grace and right living, if we want to receive that kind of critique from others (see Mt. 7:1-2). People are imitators by nature. This is why scaffolding is such a highlight in the education department. We are taught that others repeat what they see, the same is true when it comes to issuing judgment: “What we do to others, will be done to us (vv. 12).”

God-Given Standards

Scripture makes it clear that the sacred is not reserved for animals. If we give the sacred to the unworthy, it is like tossing these things in the trash. Instead, we are called to be in prayer and allow God to set our standards.

“Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it
and you will find. Continue to knock and
the door will be opened for you (vv. 7).”

In verse 6, we learn that… things treasured by us aren’t treasured by everyone. We know that there are those who trample over the truths of Jesus found in God’s Word and seek to attack it any opportunity they get.

Bottom line for us as believers, we need to choose the sacred. We need to choose Jesus. We need to allow God to cultivate the standards that we have for our lives. We need to make God’s Word our solid foundation, by simply being with Him and taking the time to allow His Word to get in our spirits – even beginning the work of our transformation given to us by God through His Holy Spirit.

Application: Choosing Sacredness…

When I consider this verse, it is home-hitting. How often have I squandered the things meant for God, and given them away to just anyone?

Know Your Treasure

The first step lies in valuing the sacred. These are the things of God. We need to hold them closer than anything else. God, His Word, prayer, His Church, and His commandments. We need to hold them close! And, know the value of what you hold close. When we know the value, we won’t toss the sacred to pigs who don’t know its worth.

Wisely Decide

When I think of this verse, it makes me hesitate my life decisions. I need to think and pray, not run to just… whatever. Whether it is a guy, new friend opportunity, or something else. I need to keep Jesus closer. Keep His plans and promises closer than anything else. The real worth is in His, and I can’t keep giving away to sacred (time, talents, thoughts, emotions) to whatever comes my way. I need to know the worth of my Savior, and let Him fully direct my decisions!

How about you? Where do you find yourself today?

In Closing….

I encourage you read the Word of God, pray (talk with Him), and begin handing over the contains of your life. Maybe, God has given you time – but you have squandered it on the things of this world. Perhaps, you have tossed your God-given standards out the window over a friend/family. Begin giving it over to Him.

In verses 13-27, we are reminded that Jesus wants us to meet Him one day in heaven. He wants us to avoid the road of death, and keep choosing the sacred (Him) over the things of this day – the sinful things. We need to resolve to keep choosing Jesus. We need to keep pursuing the sacred, over the sin we are tempted by.

We need to allow God’s standards to be the foundation for our lives!