Tuesday, October 1, 2013


“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 NIV)

Sacrifice doesn’t come naturally to us.  Most of us will choose the easiest path whenever possible.  And, often, when the path becomes too difficult, we look for another to take.  I remember in my freshman year of college having an English professor who made it clear on the first day that students were going to have to work hard and his expectations were very high.  By the end of the week, nearly half the students had opted out of his class.  

As a campus minister, I have seen it happen many times where students commit to following Jesus, only to give up later because it was too hard. The sacrifice of giving up what they wanted, whether it was a romantic relationship with an unbeliever, long time friends who urged for them to return to their worldly lives, or the demand to no longer live solely for themselves was too much.  

And even among believers, one sees an attempt to limit the sacrifice demanded.  Many preachers proclaim God wants to bless us while never mentioning Jesus’ call to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24)

Sacrifice is the essence of a life following Jesus because He left us an example that we might follow in His steps. (I Peter 2:21)   He came from Glory into our fallen world.  He humbled Himself and lived in the confines of human existence.  Though innocent He took on the sin of the world and suffered the consequences so that we wouldn’t have to.  His life was the epitome of sacrifice.  

Today, how might you offer yourself as a living sacrifice to the Lord? Whatever it might be, it won’t be easy.  Sacrifice never is.  But it is the example Jesus left us and there is much joy in following it.

© Jim Musser 2013

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