Living Sacrifices in a Dying World

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.—Romans 12:1

Christians often struggle with the concept of worship. Is it praising God through song? Is it augmenting the experience with lights, sound and other media? It can be. But, my friends, it’s so much more. If we are to take Romans 12:1 literally, worship is complete surrender of all we are to all God is. And if we want an example of what a living sacrifice looks like, Jesus—the ultimate living sacrifice—lived it out until His life was spent.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.—Ephesians 5:1-2

Jesus used His eyes to see need. 

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.—Matthew 9:36

He looked upon people with love.

Jesus looked at him and loved him.—John 10:21a

 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”—John 8:10-11

With His ears, He listened to instruction, though He Himself is the Word made flesh.

Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.—Luke 2:46

With His mouth, He spoke truth.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”—John 14:6

Sometimes He spoke hard truth.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.—Matthew 23:15

But He also spoke forgiveness.

Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much.—Luke 7:47

With His hands, he brought healing.

He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.—John 9:6-7

And with His hands, He provided miraculously.

Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.—Matthew 14:19-21

He also used His hands in humble service.

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.—John 13:3-5 

With His feet, He resolutely walked not only toward danger but toward certain death.

He said, “Listen, we are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the religious leaders of the Jews and to the teachers of the Law. They will say that He must be put to death. They will hand Him over to the people who are not Jews. They will make fun of Him and will beat Him. They will spit on Him and will kill Him. But three days later He will be raised from the dead.”—Mark 10:33-34

Finally, with His body, He died our death so we can have life in Him.

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”—Luke 22:19

Are we using the members of our body and the entirety of all we are in His service? Are we looking upon the world through His eyes, listening with His heart, speaking His truth with His love, and being humble instruments of His healing and provision and service? That, my friends, is true worship. And in true worship, there is power—power for deliverance, transformation and revival.