Wednesday, February 13, 2008

living sacrifices

How do we respond to God's love given to us in Jesus? A love that moved God to become one of us, fully human in his Son. And a love that lived that humanity, faithfully before God as a human- though God. A love that loved to the very end, expressing that fully through his death on the cross. And then this love made alive and living, through the resurrection, after which came the ascension and then Pentecost, when Jesus, from the Father, sent the promised Holy Spirit.

In view of God's love, through the mercies of God in Christ, we're urged to offer our bodies, our lives, as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- our true worship.

What is a living sacrifice? It's simply the offering of ourselves by faith to God. So that all of our lives are lived out as an offering, a sacrifice to God through Jesus Christ.

We should honor the martyrs of the faith. Many of them throughout the centuries, and some are suffering for their faith in Christ to this day, their lives on the brink, and sometimes taken. We tend to cast them in a higher light than ourselves, and wonder if we too could follow in their train.

But just as compelling and glorious is a life that is lived as an offering to God in Christ through all the trials and temptations we face on a regular basis, and some great ones at various times. As well as through the good times when most all seems well with us and our families, and life in general seems good. Through those times, good times and bad times, to live our lives in every part as an offering to God in Jesus. This is what it's all about. A lifetime of that can be just as glorious in God's eyes, surely, as the faithful following of Christ to the death.

Life lived with all its seriousness, fun, tasks- mundane and interesting, friendships, love, testings, trials, temptations, challenges, recreations, pleasures- everything, lived out to God as an offering in response to the love-gift of God in Jesus. This is what life is all about for us, who call ourselves by that Name.

What do you see here, or what have you found to be true about this?

10 comments:

His Path Through The Wilderness said...

Hi Ted,

I stumbled upon your blog from the Jesus Creed. I am encouraged by what I read on your posts. The Lord bless you.

Marlena

preacherman said...

Great post brother.
I believe the way we think (on God), speak, treat others, both inside and outside the church is how we are living sacrfices to God. It is a reflection of our heart being in submission with His. It pleases Him. Puts a smile on his face.
Great topic.
I hope you have a blessed day.

L.L. Barkat said...

Lately I've been thinking about the concept of a living sacrifice as a "loving sacrifice". Sacrifice that grows from love feels less like sacrifice.

lorenzothellama said...

Ted, how do I cope with people I just don't like?
I struggle with this so much. I KNOW I should be able to rise above it all, but I just can't, and if I'm honest, won't. I'm really feeling guilty about my lack of love for certain people and each time I go to Mass this is rammed home to me.
Any advice would be so helpful.
Love Lorenzo.

NaNcY said...

ROMANS 12:1,2
i want to reflect on this.
good post.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Hi Marlena,

Nice to meet you here and through your blog. Good words on your blog; hope more soon visit. Thanks for your kind words. And blessings on you as well.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Preacherman,
I like what you say here in relation to this. It's about God's love for us in Jesus and our response to that, which flows out everywhere.

Sometimes it's hard to express it to others, especially to Christians, the few, who in their zeal for righteousness, especially some kind of national righteousness (mostly a fiction in my mind) look down on their political enemies and on others who don't think the same way they do. I may hate certain things, like the pro-choice position, which I do (while trying to understand the rationale behind it, yet of course, not accepting what I believe is the destruction of human life), but I must show forth this love in Jesus to others.

Thanks, Kinney for your presence here and for the added and good insight, brother!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lorenzo,
We can all struggle with that at times.

We can live this life only through Jesus. As Paul said, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me", in "the life I live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself (as a sacrifice of love) for me." (Galatians 2:20)

I have found sometimes in really disliking someone, I've found God's love present for them in Jesus, in my heart. While at the same time I might be distressed with them and their actions and demeanor. I'm sure it was only because of Jesus that I could extend my heart and hand to them so to speak.

And it helps me to know I struggle too. I fail too.

Simple faith in Jesus, and prayer. He can help us. And I know, Lorenzo, it can be so hard. And at times I fail as well.

Good question! Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy. Yes, much to think and pray on, there.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
I missed the sequence.

I really like your thought here! So true. It really must be a love sacrifice. Something I'm so glad you bring in here. And I could have, and probably should have brought out on this post.

It reminds me of the words of Scripture concerning Joseph's fourteen years of labor for Laban in return for Rachel. "It seemed like just a few days for Joseph, because of his love for her." May we live with that kind of love for Jesus- for God, and from that for each other, and the world. So that in the end we can see it was good, even through all the troubles.

Thanks.