You have probably heard quite a bit of preaching on Romans 12:1,2. We are told to present ourselves a living sacrifice. Holy. Acceptable to God. Don’t be conformed to the world. Be transformed. Renew your mind. Prove the will of God.
You know, that is a daunting list. About the only “easy” thing on it to accomplish is being “living”. Or, is it? Is it easy to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice? Dead ones stay put. Living ones can wriggle, squirm, heave themselves off the altar. So, perhaps we are to be dead and living at the same time? Dead to ourselves, but alive unto God. This is deep stuff. Perplexing stuff. Just ask Paul.
Here is something I read recently regarding the giving of self, in the old classic devotional, “Joy and Strength”:
GIVE yourselves anew to God and to God’s service, and He will give you the desire and the power to open your treasures; to give to Him, it may be wealth, it may be time, it may be personal service, it may be life itself. In His store there is a place for all, for the tears of the penitent, the barley loaves of the child, the two mites of the widow, the savings of the Philippians’ “deep poverty,” as well as for Mary’s ointment, for the land of Barnabas, for the gold and incense and myrrh of these Eastern sages. And if the vision of Christ be before his eyes, and the love of Christ be in his heart, the man of wealth will give his large offering, the man of learning his dear-bought knowledge, the man of business his hard-earned leisure, for the glory of God, for the benefit of his fellow-men, for the Church or for the poor; to feed the hungry, or to teach the ignorant, to help the struggling, or to guide the erring; and each gift will be welcomed by Him who gave Himself for us all, and who asks in return for ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him.
Good thoughts while we are still not yet too far into this New Year.