New Apostolic Church USA

A Holy Sacrifice

"Giving is Sacrifice" Part 2 of 2 from the 2020 Spring Vision Newsletter

If the willingness to offer and sacrifice is defined by love, the believer fulfils the will of God and acts in the mind of Jesus.

What does it mean to have a willingness to sacrifice?

First, it means that you are willing to actually give up your time, effort, and resources to serve God and your neighbor. For sure, giving is costly. But when the love of God energizes the willingness within us to sacrifice, then we will no longer hold firm to our own priorities and desires; they are what we sacrifice in order to serve others and glorify God. Are we willing to give up what we hold most valuable to help grow the kingdom of God?

Second, our willingness to sacrifice means that we are truly committed to serving and giving. The love of God impacts our entire lives. Should our commitment to Him be only part-time?

Third, in the Spirit of Christ, we should be willing to give and sacrifice without looking for any response or expecting to receive anything in return. We know that our heavenly Father witnesses all that we do and that He has blessed us and will continue to do so. We know this from Psalm 33:14-15: The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

And finally, being willing to sacrifice means that we do not compare ourselves with anyone else and what they are perhaps willing or not willing to give up. We realize that we are all unique and have our own individual relationship with the Lord. We have been created and equipped to be an active participant in the body of Christ. Let’s be willing to give of ourselves.

Our desire and willingness to sacrifice is rooted in God’s love and mercy. It is because of His love and mercy that our lives are transformed and we can be made spiritually new. We respond to this mercy by sacrificing for His glory. Paul describes the response of this new life that flows out of God’s mercy in Romans 12:1:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Because God has been merciful towards us, we in turn offer to Him our bodies as a living sacrifice. Our behavior is our opportunity to make visible the beauty of Christ. Let’s allow our living to be an act of worship. Be ever mindful of your actions and your purpose and strive each day for every part of your body - your hands (what you do), feet (where you go), eyes (what you see), lips (what you say) – to display holiness (Hebrews 13:15-16). Even if this means giving up material things that we want or think we need. Continually allow the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to transform you. Our body becomes a holy sacrifice of worship when it is devoted to God’s purposes of righteousness and mercy. Our sacrifice is holy and acceptable to God when it’s offered with a willing heart, filled with His love.

Are we willing to sacrifice and give of ourselves to glorify God and make known the name of Jesus? Allow the mercy and love of the Lord to saturate your heart, and you’ll be amazed how willing you are to show your love for God and others.

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