In the previous post, we looked at the call to sacrifice, primarily using Romans 12:1 as our jumping off point:
“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.”
So we know we’re called to do it, but we often don’t think it’s a good idea to sacrifice. Sacrifice is often a burden and we do it out of some kind of inner guilt trip.
But sacrifice is actually good for us. It’s something that’s in our best interests, as strange as that may sound. That sounds strange to us because freedom is one of our gods. Because sacrificing something means giving up doing something we want to do…surely that can’t be a good thing, right?
Sacrifices in Christianity are meant to be something good for us. In most other religions, sacrifices are for the other gods, but not in Christianity. How are they good for us?
Sacrifices reveal our heart, they call us to live generously, that we may better reflect the Father’s heart. When our hearts are spiritually schizophrenic and pulled in many directions, generous living allows us to not be obsessed with ourselves. If we’re not obsessed with ourselves (which is a good thing) we have some other obsession in its place. That’s where sacrifices bring us to God.
Sacrifices require we give up parts of ourselves and submit to One who is better. That’s actually in our best interest! When we see God as bigger than ourselves, as our good Father, we can offer up our lives, singularly, to Him. Only when we see the greatness of God will we forget our small plans and want to be completely connected to Him and His plan.
Sacrificial living looks like a generous life. Generous in time, money, affection, all sorts of things. That’s not an easy way to live, but it’s a joyful way to live. How can that be?
If we are giving whatever it is up for the glory of God, for His honor, we know it’s actually in our best interest because it’s evidence of our freedom from our spiritual schizophrenia. Only people who love really can give joyously.
This frees us from our circumstances. If we are driven by love, we don’t have to only be happy or sad when things in our life are going well or bad. We can actually have joy in all circumstances because we are freed from all circumstances, and are caught up in the love of our Father.
It’s that love that defines who we are, even down to how we spend our time. And if we’re defined by that love, we will live generously. For God’s glory and our good.