Living Sacrifices - Romans 12

The first two verses of this chapter provide a summary of the following verses. God redeemed us by sacrificing Himself. Those whom He calls (those who have been saved) are now to live as though they are human sacrifices. This sounds good, but carrying it out is actually quite difficult. You see, we don’t want to be a sacrifice. We want what we want – not what God wants, not what others want. Our natural instinct is for ourselves. God calls us to set that aside. We all struggle with this in different ways. For some it is difficult to let other people lead, for others it is letting go of the feeling that you always have to be right. And there are many other things which could be listed here.

Paul details two main ways we are to be living sacrifices. First, we are to be humble (vs. 3-8). This includes having a realistic understanding of who we are. It also includes recognizing that as a community of believers we each have different spiritual gifts, and abilities. We need to carry out our gifting with humility and let others carry out their giftings. Second, we are to love one another (vs. 9-13). Loving one another includes setting aside hypocrisy and evil. We also show love to one another by putting others ahead of ourselves. We rejoice, persevere, and pray together. He summarizes these two and describes how they fit together (vs. 14-21). If we are humble and love others we will pray blessings upon our enemies. We celebrate and weep with others as they need it. We will have a proper perspective of ourselves so much so that we are willing to help the lowest of the low. We set aside our own “rights” and seek to live in peace with everyone, leaving revenge and justice for God.

Thoughts to Ponder
We all have areas where we fail at being a living sacrifice. Most of us probably know what some of those areas are without needing anyone to point them out. However, if you are not aware of any areas you need to work on, please do two things. First, pray that God will show you what He wants you to work on so that you can live as He wants you to live. Second, take advantage of the benefits of living in community with other believers – ask someone who knows you and is spiritually mature. We are called to help each other grow; this includes helping people see the areas where they need to grow. Don’t be embarrassed – none of us are perfect.

After identifying areas you need to work on, pray that God will help you with these areas. God does not leave us on our own. He gives us the Holy Spirit and the community of believers to help us grow. Commit to praying for one or two areas you need to improve on. And find a fellow Christian you can be honest with and share your struggles so that they can pray for you, help you, and encourage you as you work on becoming a living sacrifice.