Mercy and Grace | Day Seven
By: Kate Downing | Sacrifice Because of Mercy
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever been asked to sacrifice? To “sacrifice” means to give up something that is important to you for the sake of someone or something else. What have you been asked to sacrifice and why? Did it feel like a valid reason to give up what was important to you?
Yesterday, we talked about our call to be merciful. It is a responsibility we hold because we have been shown mercy by God. Today, we are going to talk about a second call God gives us due to the mercy we have been shown…the call to sacrifice.
Take a minute to surrender your time and attention to the Lord right now. Ask the Lord to focus your heart and mind and to speak to you today about what it means to offer yourself as a living sacrifice.
Read Romans 12:1.
How does Paul start out this verse? Is he casual about what he is saying or does it seem like he wants us to really pay attention to what he is about to say?
What is it that Paul asks (urges) us to do?
Remember that to sacrifice means to give up something that is important to you for the sake of someone or something else. Keeping this definition in mind, summarize what Paul is saying in this verse in you own words.
Normally sacrifice is something that involves death. How can we be “living sacrifices”?
Read Galatians 5:24.
When Paul calls us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, death is involved…the death of our old sinful desires. We are called to die to our flesh (our sin) and surrender ourselves to the use and glory of God.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
What does this verse mean when it says that we are not our own because we have been bought with a price?
How does this help us offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God?
Let’s go back to Romans 12:1, read it again.
How does Paul reference the mercies of God in this verse? How do the mercies of God allow us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices?
Paul closes out Romans 12:1 by saying: “…which is your spiritual worship” (ESV). Presenting our bodies, our whole selves, mind, body, and spirit, to God as living sacrifices is how we rightly and properly worship God.
Jesus gave up everything in order to show us mercy and offer us salvation. He then asks us to be willing to do the same for Him.
Ok, let’s get real here. How on earth do we “offer ourselves as a living sacrifice”? Well, lets read the next verse and find out!
Read Romans 12:2.
Paul gives two commands in this verse. One starts with “do not” and the other starts with “be.” What are the commands?
These two commands are the “how-to” of being a living sacrifice to God.
- We are told to NOT be conformed, allow our behavior, attitude, or life to be molded by the world. When we choose not to look to the world for advice on how we should live, what we should look like, what we should strive for, we allowing God to be the one to conform us to His likeness.
- We are told to BE transformed by the renewing of our mind. That means to daily allow God to renew our thoughts, our attitude, and our emotions through His Word. By allowing God to renew (make new) our minds, we are able to gladly surrender ourselves as living sacrifices.
So, what does this mean for you? I’m glad you asked! You are called to not look to the world, your friends, society, even your own opinions to determine who you should be, and instead to spend time allowing God to renew your thoughts and attitude through the truth of His Word. That is how you can offer yourself as a living sacrifice.
What are some ways you are tempted to let the world conform you to its image?
What is the hardest part about allowing God to transform your mind by renewing it?
Spend the next few minutes praying over your answers to the last two questions. Ask the Lord to help you be sensitive to times in which you tend to conform to the world instead of His likeness. Also, ask him to give you a passion for spending time with Him each day so that your mind might be renewed. Finally, thank Him for showing you mercy and giving you the opportunity to worship Him by offering yourself as a living sacrifice.