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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2NIV)
A young man and woman got married. They were excited as they started their new life. Both of them had good jobs and they enjoyed what they were doing. After a few years of marriage, the woman was moving up in her career. One day her boss came to her and told her that she had a very bright future with their company. A little while later the woman found out that she was pregnant. As the time for the baby’s birth drew closer the woman and her husband made a difficult decision. The woman decided that after her baby was born she wanted to quit her job and become a full-time stay and home mom. It meant that there would be some lifestyle changes for her and her husband, but she felt that it was important, and she had the full support of her husband. They were willing to make the sacrifice for their child.
What kind of sacrifices have you made in your life? Why did you choose to make those sacrifices? We have all made sacrifices in our lives and as we continue to live we will continue to make sacrifices. Some sacrifices will be minor, they will not cost us a lot, however; some sacrifices will be major and the cost will be high. The important thing to understand about sacrifice is that we make sacrifices when something is important to us. When you look at the list of things that you have made sacrifices for, is God on that list. If he isn’t that says a lot about the priority that God has in your life, because; we sacrifice for things that we care about.
When you consider sacrifice for God you have to be willing to answer 3 questions
1. Is the sacrifice worth it.
Is it worth it to sacrifice time to do Gods work? Is it worth it to sacrifice time in order to have a relationship with him?
Is it worth it to be uncomfortable when we do Gods work?
Is it worth possibly losing a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be around you because they don’t like the fact that you have given your life to Christ?
- Will you conform, or will you be transformed?
Are you going to conform to the ways of this world or are you going to allow yourself to be transformed? Make sure you understand what you are getting into when you answer this question. If you choose to conform you will fit in. You will act and think how people want you to, but you will be rejecting the transformative power of God. If you choose to be transformed, you are choosing to engage in a lifelong process. Transformation does not take place overnight, or even over the course of several years. From now, until the time that God calls you home, you will be in the process of transformation.
3 If you are open to sacrifice how committed are you?
There was a chicken, a sheep, a horse, and a cow that lived on a farm. The farm was not doing well and each of them was thinking of ways that they could contribute to help the farm family to survive. The family had no money, the farm equipment was run down and in disrepair, and the family and farm animals were starving. The chicken said “you know I can do better than this. I’m going to set out on my own and find something better. After he said that the chicken left the farm. The sheep thought for a long while and then he said, I could have my wool sheared. The farmer can sell my wool to bring in some money. After that, the horse thought for a long period and said if the farm machines are not working then I will work in their place. I will help to plow the ground, I will help the family from one place to another in their wagon, and when harvest comes I will help the farmer to haul goods to the buyers. The cow was quiet for a very long time. She never said anything to them. She just walked off quietly. About a year later the sheep and the horse were talking. The sheep remarked about how good things were. He said, all I have to do is give up my wool once a year; now I am well fed and well taken care of. The horse said I work hard. I have good days and I have bad days, but the farmer makes sure that I have all that I need. The horse looked at the sheep for a long time and his voice got soft and low. The fact is no matter how hard I work, I will never be able to equal the sacrifice made by the cow. She gave her life so that the family could live.
When you consider sacrifice, who are you? Are you like the chicken who sacrificed nothing, are you like the sheep who makes a very minimal sacrifice? Are you like the horse who makes a great sacrifice offering his body and his sweat to help, or are you like the cow who makes the ultimate sacrifices. Her life.
So, what are your answers? Are you willing to sacrifice like the horse? Do you think that God is worth the sacrifice, are you willing not to conform, but to be transformed? I hope the answer is yes because when Christ died on the cross it was the greatest sacrifice ever made. He made that sacrifice for us. No sacrifice we could ever make can equal Christ sacrifice because it is through his sacrifice that we are saved.