Romans 12:1,2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, (which is) your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what (is) that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (KJV)
Disclaimer: I looked at this Scripture in NIV and KJV. I found that the KJV was closest to the original language.
Sacrifice. What is sacrifice? You know that it isn’t always killing an animal for a blood atonement, right? In my good-old Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the third definition (the first two had to do with destroying something) is this: to devote with loss. Hmmm, I can see that in today’s world. We aren’t into destroying animals as an act of worship these days. PETA would have a fit!
But “to devote with loss”, that I can relate to.
So what does a “living sacrifice” mean? I think we find that answer in verse 2 of this Scripture. It is “not (being) conformed to this world”. It is being different. Don’t be fooled, being different is certainly a sacrifice. People may look at you funny. They don’t understand you. “Every one else watches that show. Why don’t you?” “What do you mean you like to spend time with your husband?” “Why don’t you just sleep in on Sunday morning? Everyone knows you are exhausted.” These are just some examples. I’m sure that you could name a hundred more. But we choose this non-conformity. We choose to transform our mind every day. And it has to be every day. You can’t skip one. If you do, you are conforming to the world. You make different choices. I know this from experience. Weekly experience. I have a hard time on Saturdays. It is my one day to sleep in. I have my family around and most days we have a full docket of things to do. No excuse, though. Think that one will fly at the judgment seat? Nope. It is a sacrifice to get up and make that choice in the morning, any morning. And there are times I choose not to sacrifice. Is that okay? No, not really. Not in the scope of eternity. Every day is important. Every day is an opportunity. Every day is the chance to share Christ with someone else. And I fail.
And being a “living sacrifice” shouldn’t be anything special. It is our “reasonable service”. It is the bare minimum. The least we can do for what Christ did for us. The least we can do is choose to be changed daily to be more like Him. The least we can do is choose to renew our minds so that we can know what God would have us to do. What are we “renewing” to? We are getting ourselves back to Him. Go back to the beginning – that moment when we really understood what Jesus had done for us and we were ready to do anything for Him. Do you remember that time?
Sacrifice is about devoting our self with some loss. It is about giving of yourself without thought of gain or loss. Sacrifice is a choice. It is something we decide to do. And it is something we are called to do on a daily basis. It can vary. It can change. You may be called to sacrifice a lot or a little. But you have been called to sacrifice nonetheless. When we made the choice of salvation, we made the choice to sacrifice.
So today, princess, I want to encourage you to sacrifice. Listen to God and what he has asked you to sacrifice. Search out His word and find out where you can improve and how you can sacrifice your time, your money and your love. It is tough. But God will provide you what you need to make it through.