This past Sunday we attended service at Crossroads Church of the Nazarene. We sat through wonderful music, Joshua and I sang the song Hidden by United Pursuit, heard wonderful testimonies of God’s love and faithfulness, and listened to a great message from Pastor Don Hawkins.
During the sermon Pastor Don spoke about being a living sacrifice for the kingdom of God from Romans chapter 12.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
It’s funny how we often think of sacrificing and we automatically think of this as a bad or negative thing, but in fact being a sacrifice and sacrificing parts of our lives for the Kingdom of God is actually a good thing!
Sacrificing definitely isn’t an easy thing to do. My first thought when I think of sacrificing ties perfectly into this time of the year. Often at the beginning of the year we set New Year Resolutions and often that means sacrificing. Sacrificing eating out so we can save money. Sacrificing time with family or friends so we can focus on our own self care. Sacrificing certain foods or drinks to help us lose weight and feel better. In fact this year, in the season of Covid-19 and a global pandemic, I feel like we’ve all been forced to sacrifice. It’s never easy to sacrifice.
But in Romans 12:1 God calls us to be a sacrifice! Our family knows a lot about sacrifice. We’ve reminded ourselves often that being a living sacrifice isn’t easy. It isn’t something that in the midst of it you are excited to do, but it’s something that God calls us to and gives us the strength to pursue.
At the end of Pastor Don’s sermon he asked this question: “Do we walk with the world, or do we walk with Jesus?”
Even when it’s difficult, even when it isn’t the easiest choice, even when the world might think we are crazy... will you make the choice to be a living sacrifice for the Kingdom?
Choosing to follow God’s calling and sell everything, move in with family, and enter a world of so many unknowns isn’t an easy choice to make, but we had to decide if we were going to follow Jesus or not. Our family has decided to step out in faith as a living sacrifice for Christ. What will you choose?
The same evening as Pastor Don’s sermon I came across this quote by Christian author, Lysa Terkeurst. It struck me as ironic that on a day when I’ve been reminded of the calling to be a living sacrifice, that I’d also be reminded that just because we say yes to God doesn’t mean we will always understand his calling or his timing. So, if you choose today to be a living sacrifice save this image on your phone or computer as a reminder, because I promise there will be days when you wonder and ask “why?” or “why now?” or “why not now?” I just encourage you to continue to follow Him. It’s what is getting me through this season of limbo and “whys” in my own life.