Worship as a
Lifestyle
A LIVING SACRIFICE

The words "living" and "sacrifice" seem to be incompatible.
"Living" indicates vitality and "sacrifice" indicates death or
loss. The apostle Paul views them as complimentary in
Romans 12:1. Earlier in Romans 6, Paul explains that a
believer is dead to sin and the old nature. That believer then
becomes alive to God.

"Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should
obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of
your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but
present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and
your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For
sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law,
but under
grace." (Romans 6:12-15)

What Paul was saying to the Roman believers was that they
were simply free from the flesh. When a penitent soul calls
on God to save him, he is no longer an instrument of
unrighteousness. He becomes alive to God's
loving and
powerful touch.

God has made it clear that he desires mankind to enjoy
knowing him. In addition God desires for us to partake of his
power.   Without him, we are helpless against our fleshly
desires.  That is precisely why we must be dead to sin and
alive to God. To be a living sacrifice is to remove control
from the flesh and place it in God's hands. When we say that
we want to live our own lives, we are actually saying that we
want to reign in place of God. Paul tells us in Romans 8:12
that, "we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live
according to the flesh, for if you are living according to the
flesh you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to
death the deeds of the body, you will live".

The living sacrifice can be defined as living in submission to
God and dying to the flesh. Submission to God will have a
very distinct appearance. What will appear in abundance is
the fruit of the Spirit. From life springs fruit. So in someone
who is living for God, one will see the fruit of patience, love,
kindness, self-control, faith, joy, goodness, peace, and
gentleness.

In frustration some have said, "life stinks". No, death
stinks. It's a rotting piece of food or a dead body that stinks.
Death is not productive. It is life that produces fruit and is
most beautiful!

We must also realize that the living sacrifice is a choice. We
have been given  the choice of eternal life if we desire it.
Making the choice is also appointing God the "boss". God
is not in the habit of bargaining for your life. He must be
Lord of all or he is not Lord at all! This is the struggle of all
people. You and I must make a complete decision. When we
make compartments in our lives that God is not Lord of then
the rest is meaningless.  Paul wrote, "You were formerly
darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children
of light." (Ephesians 5:8)
        
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