The Fruit of Sacrifice

What do we think of, when we think about sacrifice? Animals on an Old Testament altar? Denying ourselves of something that we want to do or enjoy? Doing something for someone that would be difficult for us to do? What is sacrifice in terms of discipleship today? We normally have plans, projects and ambitions for ourselves. We are accustomed to deciding how we will live our lives. For those who are Spiritually reborn, there is but one kind of sacrifice for us to make; any others will fall into place. Paul was inspired to write, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Adam was created by God and existed under God. When Adam and Eve sinned, they took over the control of their lives. They became rebels! The implications of the sacrifice Paul called for was for us to unconditionally surrender ourselves to God’s rule and reign in our lives. His desires, teaching, plans, commands, directions and principles are to shape our lives. We relinquish our control of our lives and submit to His control. This is a fundamental  choice, seldom demanded in our churches today. Failure to make His claims clear has resulted in spiritually impoverished local churches. Many have been told that all is well with God, if they have believed certain facts, even though they have no intention of giving up control of their  lives. Frances R. Havergal expressed the issue clearly in her hymn of consecration: “Take My Life and Let It Be.” Take my love, my God, I pour, at Thy feet its treasure store; take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.” When His will becomes supreme in our lives, a spontaneous sacrifice will find expression. Hebrews 13:15 describes this fruit of sacrifice, “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Selah! A Christianity that requires no surrender of our lives to God is a very feeble imitation of the real thing!   Ron

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