Romans 12:1-2 NIV
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform 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.
God’s sacrifice – His Mercy
Without God’s mercy, we would be hopelessly lost in our own sins. There would be no escape from certain judgment and separation from God. But God’s mercy sent Christ to die for us and provide a path to righteousness and hope through faith in Jesus Christ, our sacrifice.
Because of this mercy, let us rise above the craziness of this world and become shining lights of “God’s Mercy” to the dark world around us. How does this happen? It is not automatic. It is not easy. Setting Holy standards require strength and constant attention in our heart and mind. So much of our dark world’s ideas are trying to reprogram our lives toward sinful behavior and depraved thinking. Let us rise above this world and strive to live by Holy standards to not only feel God’s presence but to present God’s presence to the world.
What is a Living Sacrifice?
Offer your body a living sacrifice. This seems like an oxymoron. How can one live and die at the same time? Notice the two words. Sacrifice represents the cost of following God in the Old Testament. One would take their very best and most valuable sheep to be placed on the altar and killed as repentance and worship to God. Sacrifice was the painful death of an innocent animal picturing the cost of sin covered by the innocent blood of Christ.
What does a “Living Sacrifice” look like? We look closely at our lives and put to death (sacrifice) habits, attitudes, desires that are sinful in nature. We compare our lives with the world and Christ’s standard. We intentionally kill those parts of our lives that are not honoring to God.
This action is our sacrifice to God. God sees our efforts and His presence grows in us. What are some examples to consider sacrificing? How do you relate to family, friends, and workers? What do you watch, read or tweet? What does your daily schedule look like? Is there room carved out for God, the Bible, and prayer? Make a sacrifice of time for God.
Set process, not goals
One piece of advice. Instead of making a goal, focus on creating a daily process. Once a goal is broken it’s hard to really start a new goal. But focus on creating daily or weekly processes of sacrificing known issues or the process of setting aside time to spend with God.
Ask God to reveal areas in your life that could be sacrificed as worship to God. I know it is painful but it is an act of worship. You will become closer to God and His presence will reflect a greater Holiness in your life. The result is a greater lightnside for the world to see.
Make one change this week for a living sacrifice.
As I write this article, I already know I need to sacrifice more to God in my daily processes. No pain..no gain.
I feel good about it. I’m striving to live upward.