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LIVING SACRIFICE

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel would bring cattle and sheep as a sacrifice for their sins.

In the New Testament, Jesus willingly becomes the, “lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” John 1:29

Paul, a great writer from the New Testament, urges believers to embrace and accept the Lord’s sacrifice.  We are then called to live for God.

This principle is laid out in Romans 12. It is a model for making Jesus the Lord of every area of your life.

Romans 12 is also a manual for how to live and serve other believers. Within this sacred chapter we learn about mercy, worship, God’s will, humility, unity, gifting, sincere love, brotherly love, honor, joy, hope, hospitality, blessing, harmony, peace and overcoming evil with good.

READ SCRIPTURE

ROMANS 12, NIV

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,

5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.

7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;

8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

LIVE IT

God calls every Christian to be a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) for Him, think about what this means in your own life. Below you will find some of the qualities mentioned in Romans chapter 12. Take some time to think about your growth and progress in living out these qualities as a Christian. Ask yourself:
Am I…
Showing mercy?
Living in humility?
Understanding my gifting?
Being filled with Joy?
Demonstrating hospitality?
Living in harmony and peace with others?

PRAYER

“Lord God, I know that following you is a lifelong process. You said, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). What a wonderful truth this is! God, you have freed me to live each day as a ‘living sacrifice’ for you! Help me to grow in mercy, humility, joy, and all the other qualities mentioned in this lesson. I trust you will ‘fulfill your purpose for me’ (Psalm 138:8) Amen.”