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Holy and Pleasing

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

For the last couple of months, we have begun studying Leviticus in our Tuesday evening Bible study. We’ve been looking at the five types of offerings and sacrifices (Burnt, Grain, Fellowship, Sin, and Guilt), their purpose, and how they would be offered. While it’s a fascinating study, it’s also complicated. For the Israelites, it likely became commonplace because of its repetition, but in its becoming a matter of rote, the significance of the act lost meaning. It’s like if we go to church on Sunday morning simply because that’s what we should do out of a sense of obligation instead of intentionally going to worship and seek God.

The need for these complicated rituals became null and void in the Father’s sending of the Son or said another way in the Son’s willing coming. Instead of offering pure and perfect animals for our sin and guilt, Christ transferred our sin upon himself, dying that we might receive freedom from sin.

While Jesus replaced the ritual offerings of animal sacrifice, the meaning behind the need for sacrifice was not eliminated–an offering is still required. We are still participants. Instead of bringing animals, we bring ourselves. While we are not pure and perfect (yet), we offer who we are in whatever state we are in. We come earnestly and penitently before God in our sinfulness, relinquishing ourselves to God in sacrifice. When we cry out, “Lord, I’m broken; come heal me. I need you.” that is the living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing.

Father God, we come before you, humbled by your immense mercy and grace. In light of your love that surpasses understanding, we offer ourselves to you as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing in your sight. We surrender our bodies, minds, and hearts to your will. We desire to be transformed by renewing our minds, no longer conforming to the patterns of this world but instead reflecting your image in all we do. Guide us, Lord, as we seek to understand your purpose for our lives. Grant us the wisdom to discern your calling and the strength to follow it with faithful hearts. Help us to use the gifts and talents you have blessed us with to serve others and build up your kingdom on earth. Accept this offering, we pray and make us vessels of your love and grace. May our lives be a testament to your faithfulness and a beacon of hope to all who see them. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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