A Living Sacrifice

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Today’s Bible Reading: Romans 12

Romans 12:1
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

And so… what? In the previous chapters (1-11), Paul laid out God’s case against humanity—Jews, Gentiles, all of us. Then he told us of God’s amazing solution. It’s Jesus! We have an opportunity now through Jesus to change our old identity as sinners and be born again into a new life in Christ. Saved by grace. Empowered by the Holy Spirit!

And so, Paul pleads with us to offer ourselves back to God, because of all God has done for us. This is our appropriate worship of him who has done so much. Well, that seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Sure, right up until you try to do it!

And so, Paul tells us how—by allowing God to transform our minds to his way of thinking. It’s an inside-to-outside transformation, not conforming to what the world says is important (which is outside-to-inside), but having God’s priority become yours. His priority is love.

Paul instructs us in how this should play out and then he gets to the verse that has been so useful in my own life:

Romans 12:18 (NIV)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

I love this verse because there are people in my life who do not want to live at peace with me. I have prayed, spoken with, apologized, explained, sought counsel, everything I could think of to do, and still, we are not at peace. In Romans, God’s word says that I can only do what I can do. Then, in Philippians 4:6-7, I read, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

I can live there, in that peace. I trust that his plan will be accomplished in this and all other things that I encounter today. And so, I can do this: “Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink…’ Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” (Romans 12:20-21). This is what Jesus did: conquered evil with good and gave himself up as a living sacrifice.

Questions:
What would it look like for you to offer yourself as a living sacrifice to Christ? Is there a situation in your life where you have done all you can to fix, and it isn’t fixed? What could you do with that?

Next Steps:
Make amends with those who have a grudge against you, as much as it is up to you. Trust God with the outcome.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, today I offer you myself as a living sacrifice. My desire is to honor you with my service and my life because of all you have done for me. Help me know what it is to live in peace with all people, and to trust in your justice in every situation. You are God. I am not. Lots of people, including me, are pretty happy about that! Thank you for your mercies, which are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness! Amen.


This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people who God used to start CedarCreek 21 years ago, and was on staff until 2013. She and her husband Mike love to travel the country in their motor home with their kitties Jane & Mary. Lauri is passionate about prayer, and about helping women discover who they are in Christ. She doesn’t tweet but you can follow her and Mike’s adventures on Facebook.


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5 replies
  1. Lora Kane
    Lora Kane says:

    Thanks Lauri! I love this! What a great reminder that we are responsible for our part in relationships. When we do our part, we can leave the outcome in God’s most capable hands. I needed this today! 🙂

  2. Sandra Ovens
    Sandra Ovens says:

    Lauri, after returning from Israel, the reading in Romans has given me a new perspective. I was touched in a way that I needed, visiting where my Lord and Savior gave his life for me, I have a new energy in giving my life to his kingdom. I am renewed. Thanks for what you do.
    Love you Sister❤

  3. Sariah Flynn
    Sariah Flynn says:

    After almost 20 years, I walked in to work this morning knowing it would be the last time I walk in as an employee of my current organization. I have been thinking all morning about what I was going to say in my farewell email that would adequately express my feelings about this transition to my co-workers. 2 days ago I prayed that God would give me the right words. He never fails me. Not only does this Living it Out perfectly express my feelings, it indirectly references my life verse. How amazing.

    Romans 12:2 New International Version (NIV)
    2 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.

  4. Kendra
    Kendra says:

    Lauri – this is something God has been challenging me with – presenting myself as a living sacrifice – EVEN THOUGH it is really difficult to ‘live at peace’ with someone in my life right now. Thank you for the encouragement and challenge to do whatever it takes, on my end, to live at peace with those around me. I truly do want to glorify God or “worship” Him in this situation.

  5. Janet Catherine Withers
    Janet Catherine Withers says:

    Good Morning Everyone, ” I am a Child of God” There is so much Hate in this world that I had to send a letter to my sister through the mail because she never wanted to see my side of the story! She has a tremendous amount of anger in her Mind that she turns on you, Saying she is not to blame I am. I had to find a way to stop the evil things she was doing to me. This has been going on since I was a small child. I am 5 yrs older than her but she started at a very young age that she didn’t ever want to be a real sister to me. She never wanted anything to do with me. She only had friends in the neighborhood and sisters that she would only play with. I was a very lonely child from that day forward. Today since I am 5 yrs older than her, she has destroyed me. Did I make a big mistake for trying to get her in here? You bet, My sister is like a leach, still wanted to control my life and since I am considered a “DISABLER” I allowed her to continue to try and drag me into her hateful world. She is a severe Alcoholic and she tries and destroys you because I was different. I did not go that way and never will. She has taken my friends my friends and lied about me & still does. I met one of the ladies that gets the same treatment from her. “If she cannot control you, she will badmouth you and move to the next one! I went to the first lady, she found it out and went back to this person sucking this person back into her Web making this kind soul feel guilty and allowed my sister to get back into her life! I
    am not going to ever let her do this to me again. I went to the 2nd lady who knows all about God because I was being talked about by my sister. This beautiful lady has been to other Churches and my sister got her into Cedar Creek Church in Perrysburg, Oh. The Best thing that could ever happen to her. She could not believe that this was happening to me by my own sister! She let me come to her Apt. let me talk to her (3) hrs. Thank You, Marsha Reinbolt, You just saved my life because I could have died or worse yet – a Stroke & be a vegetable. on March 23rd, 2019 I had a Panic Attack – had not had one in nearly 29 yrs. I have Heart Disease, 7 stints in my heart. Thank you, God, you kept me going and you know my whole life story. I Love You and understand that you want me to follow your path with never falling backward again, Hang in there God I’m coming, a little slower, because I’m heading to the 80 yr mark! Thank You to the ppl that are reading this and Thank you God for listening “In Jesus name Amen”

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