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Thursday, May 19, 2016

BE LIVING SACRIFICES

“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.” Romans 12:1-2 NLT
          Paul is telling the Roman believers to become living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.  He even tells them how to achieve this:  “by the renewing of your mind”.  How can a person renew their mind?  It’s transformed by studying and knowing the scriptures and by the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within.  This is the only way we can learn to discern what behavior falls in line with the Lord’s will for us. 
       The Old Testament sacrificial system was meant to pay for the sins of the individual making the sacrifice.  It was a blood sacrifice, for God deemed it necessary for the shedding of blood to cleanse a person of their sin.  It was an annual thing, not once for all time as with Christ’s blood.  Although the sacrifice was important and necessary, the obedience of the heart was much more important (1).  It is extremely important that we reach the place spiritually speaking where we can lay aside our own desires and follow Christ, placing our lives at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us.
            If you want to know God’s will for you, seek it with all your heart and don’t make a move until you have confirmation in your spirit that you have found it.  The Lord has a personal will for us all.  Just as no two snowflakes are identical, so no two versions of God’s personal will are the same.  They are tweaked to match the gifts each individual has been given.  It’s different for each of us.  Our God is gracious and kind and will not ignore your request to know Him more.  Just ask Him and listen for His voice in your spirit. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing! 
Resource:  The Life Application Study Bible – New Living Translation – Tyndale Publishing.
(1) 1 Samuel 15:22  “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”


Amos 5:21-24  “I hate all your show and pretense - the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.  I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.  I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.  Away with your noisy hymns of praise!  I will not listen to the music of your harps.  Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” 

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