21st July 2020

Living Sacrifice 

“Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of Gods mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Romans 12:1 (NIV) 

A couple of years ago I met a man who has about as unenviable a job as any of us could imagine. He works for the British army in Kurdish areas of northern Iraq where Daesh (Isis) have been driven out. When they leave, families that had been forced from their homes, seek to return to them, but many of their houses have been booby trapped. Isis are capable of making extremely sophisticated booby traps. It could be a bucket part filled with flour lying on its side on the floor, a can of food left in a cupboard, or a tattered curtain hanging in a window. He leads and trains teams of Sunni Moslem Kurds to discover and defuse these devices. He and his teams have to spend time figuring out the best way to enter each house, usually by a window, and once inside, every move risks being blown up. Many brave Kurds have died doing this work. Incidentally, he said his best team was his all female team, because of their sharp eye for detail.

I met this man in a church I occasionally visit in Salisbury. I asked him why he did such dangerous work. He said it was because he loved the Lord Jesus who had done so much for him, even giving His life for him. He now wanted to help others in desperate need as Jesus had helped him. It was inspiring to meet this quietly-spoken man, prepared to sacrifice his life if need be, in service to others for Christ’s sake.

The fact is, despite what some ‘prosperity’ preachers teach, the Christian life involves sacrifice. Compared with our brother in Salisbury and especially to Jesus, our sacrifices may be small. Indeed, some of them are a pleasure! For example we are exhorted to offer the sacrifice of ‘praise,’ ‘thanks,’ ‘doing good’ and ‘sharing,’ “for with such sacrifices God is pleased,” the writer of Hebrews tells us (Hebrews 13:15 & 16). The Philippian church provided materially for Paul, “an acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God.”

We may have to forgo some of this life’s pleasures in order to support the church or evangelism or the poor. The lead verse tells us to offer up our bodies a living sacrifice. This may involve self-control and discipline in all manner of ways, not always easy. It really means offering ourselves up to Jesus to use as he sees fit. Like Jonah, we might not always be too keen on what he asks of us. In the garden at Gethsemane Jesus shuddered at what he was about to go through, but he did it anyway. His Father strengthened him, and he will be there for us as we strive to live our lives sacrificially.

Prayer
Thank You, Jesus, for your willingness to suffer for us. Help us to live our lives sacrificially for you.
Amen

Study by Doug Bass

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About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International. The closest congregation for Doug and his wife, Maureen, is in Exeter.

Local Congregation:
WCG Exeter
America Hall
De La Rue Way
Pinhoe
EXETER
EX4 8PX
Visitors welcome but please ring first as we do sometimes change our venue.

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Armstrong
Phone:  01392-421066
Email:  exeter@gracecom.church

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