By Pastor Steve Kelly / Books /
(Adapted from the Accent of Leadership)
In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul writes, “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” (Romans 12:1 NIV).
The Old Testament describes the sacrifices people made as having a “pleasing aroma” to the Lord. I believe in a similar way, having a willing spirit is also a pleasing aroma to God. God is delighted when you offer yourself to serve His will and to build His church. Sacrifice is defined as, “Surrender of one thing for the sake of something else.” When you sacrifice something, you are relinquishing all control over it. In this case, you are giving up your preferences for the sake of building the kingdom of God.
So what exactly does it mean to be a “living sacrifice?” Thankfully, sacrifice no longer means having to slay animals on altars to compensate for wrongdoing. Instead, our lives are purposed to portray this picture of “dying to yourself” in order that we may live fully for Christ. This means that our lives are no longer all about what we want, but rather about submitting ourselves to God’s plan. This principle applies wherever you are called to serve.
When you enter into a serving opportunity, the best approach is to ask, “How can I help?”
When you ask this question, you are offering yourself to whatever is needed in that moment. Entering a situation with preconceived notions of what you want to do limits your capacity and may even prevent you from helping. Often people are quick to pursue selfish motives, and forget that serving God and building the church are not purposed to bring individual glory. The church is built on Christ and Christ alone, and thrives through the collective willingness of the people. I wonder what would happen if more people were willing to lay down their personal agendas and ask, “How can I help?” Being a living sacrifice for God is simply having a willing and humble spirit, knowing that you are part of something greater than yourself.