What does it mean to sacrifice?
There was a farmer that decided to cook breakfast for his family of 12. They sat down to a wonderful mean, fully loaded. He poured each person a huge glass of milk from the farm, and orange juice from the fields. After taking a couple of swigs of the orange juice, the main course was served. A few eggs and a large portion of bacon.
Of all of these items, which bearer made a sacrifice? The cow gave milk squeezed from it’s utters. The tree gave oranges picked from it’s branches. The chicken gave eggs laid of it’s loin… all of these great offerings without which the breakfast would not have been complete.
But the pig gave it’s life so this family might have a delicious meal. The pig was the only one who gave a sacrifice.
What does it mean to present yourself as a living sacrifice? A sacrifice is something that hurts or inconveniences you. If you can’t give up an hour of your day when God asks, or give up the first few hours on Sundays for Jesus… are you really giving your life?
Paul says that this is proper worship. Other translations say, “which is your reasonable service” or more accurately, “which is the LEAST of your worship.” Paul claims that giving our lives over to Christ completely is the least that we can do. If we aren’t meeting the least of our worship, what then are we doing at all?
A Living Sacrifice
1 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. 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.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.