Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. Romans 12:1[AMP]
We are so glad to be back with a new and fresh series here in the fire place blog. We have journeyed together over the past few months through different topics and gleaned from the versatility of God’s word. In this new series, it has pleased God to bring to our attention a very urgent message that we must inculcate into our daily life as we keep living our days here on earth. It is tagged “the lifestyle of sacrifice”. We are introducing this series to bring us into the reality of the possibility to live a sacrificial life unto God and other men. At different points in our lives, we have all heard about ALTARS and their significance, especially in the place of our worship unto God. In our new dispensation ushered in by the Holy Spirit, inside our body lies the temple of God where the Altar of prayer is also located. No man is greater than his altar! On the other hand, the worth of an altar is known through the quality of sacrifice that is being placed on it. This means, the extent and value of the sacrifice you are offering on the altar of your life is directly proportional to the kind of results your life commands. This is why it is important to take time out to study what it means to live a lifestyle of sacrifice, so that our altars can become portals that will command the kind of results needed for our destiny fulfillment here on earth. It is time to glean from God again. Get ready for the Fire Experience!
What is sacrifice? Taking a look at the meaning of sacrifice from the biblical standpoint, we can say Sacrifice as an act means to willingly surrender something in order to gain an objective. What makes a sacrifice genuine is the willingness to path ways with what formerly belongs to you rightfully for a greater good. Sacrifice is the deepened and advanced stage of offering things in this case unto God. when we offer sacrifice unto God, we are made to enter a particular heart posture that is fueled by the understanding of the essence of surrendering some things to God in order to gain far more important things from God. Our focus passage stated above gives direction to our study on sacrifice. What we are offering here is our LIFE! Far beyond offering substance to God, it is expedient to offer one’s life unto God fully so as to begin to live the life that God desires here on earth. Our decision to follow Jesus Christ comes with some requirements that will make our journey effective and earthly useful while we wait for the coming of our Lord. One of these requirements is dedicating our lives to living a life that will be ordered around and fully directed by God – which is the lifestyle of sacrifice! Apostle Paul described the lifestyle of sacrifice as our “intelligent act of worship”; this means, when we begin to live for God here on earth, our lives offers worship unto God; it gives God pleasure!
What makes a sacrifice genuine is the willingness to path ways with what formerly belongs to you rightfully for a greater good.
Living for God must be fueled by the right heart posture which is Love for God. In the world of believers, we only have one motive – Love! Love must be the reason backing up the decisions we make, the sacrifices we make, the lives we affect, the services we attend, etc. once we run out of the fuel of love, familiarity and the spirit of activities creeps in and tend to make us lose focus of the right way of doing things in heaven’s perspective. We know that God is love, the book of First John painted love to us as a relationship that started with God being the first lover! God modeled love to man in the most unusual way, He demonstrated the highest form of love which is sacrifice! There are four dimensions of love that are fully captured and expressed in the bible. They are namely Passion, Pleasure, Commitment and Sacrifice.
Living for God must be fueled by the right heart posture which is Love for God.
Love begins with passion; the passion dimension of love is always the first to be noticed. Love is an action word; love is full of passion and zeal! There are a lot of stories in the bible that depicts this passionate dimension of love, the book of Songs of Solomon explained this dimension in the most dramatic way. The Passion in love makes the lovers to feel on top of the world, it brings in energy and fire to the relationship. In our relationship with God, it is always very easy to point out new lovers of God in a meeting; there is a kind of energy that follows the joy of salvation that makes you willing to attend every meeting, participate in every activity, etc. As all these unfolds, it ushers in the second dimension of love which is pleasure. This is where the benefits begin to find expression. God is a lover man; He knows how best to get our attention. At these very early stage of our relationship with Him, there is always no record of unanswered prayers! As you ask God for things, He shows up in a miraculous way that makes it impossible to disbelieve God. all of these are part of the Pleasure dimension of God’s love, we will all go through this stage at one point or the other in our walk with God.
Love is an action word! Until your journey in God leads you to a point where you start to seek God for a lifetime, you have not started getting committed!
The next phase in our love relationship with God is called the stage of Commitment. This is where the real business starts to set in. at this stage, God would have become so real and practical to the believer so much that it is easy to believe God for miracles and answers to prayers. For those that are successful enough to enter this dimension, this is when God begins to teach us how to take responsibilities in the Kingdom. We learn Kingdom principles and begin to understand the reason behind every thing that happens in the world of believers. As the name implies, commitment is where God won’t keep pampering us and overlook our misdoings; rather He speaks to our heart through His Spirit and convicts us so we can learn the ways of the Kingdom!
We must all get to the stage in God where we decide to intentionally seek God and find Him for ourselves
This is where our journey of growth takes formation and then we begin to move higher in understanding with God. Until your journey in God leads you to a point where you start to seek God for a lifetime, you have not started getting committed! We must all get to the stage in God where we decide to intentionally seek God and find Him for ourselves. He must become your God! it is also at this level that Kingdom Service comes in! The sign of maturity in this Kingdom is that you start taking responsibility and get involved with Kingdom service. It is impossible to understand the ways of God and not be willing to serve Him, it is naked hypocrisy! In all of these dimensions, the lifestyle of sacrifice is being imprinted into our being by the Holy Spirit to enable us do great things for God while we remain on earth. It is safe to ask yourself, what stage of love am I?
It is impossible to understand the ways of God and not be willing to serve Him, it is naked hypocrisy!
The apex and final dimension of love where we all stay to become more like the person of Christ as we keep living on earth is called SACRIFICE. The sacrificial dimension of love is the best way to describe and demonstrate love to anyone. When we get to the stage where we are not just require to offer substances but rather transact life and blood, then we are ready for real business! The lifestyle of sacrifice comes with a heavy price, which is stripping one’s self the ability to live a life directed and controlled by one’s personal desire. Embracing Jesus and His Kingdom means signing into a selfless lifestyle.
Saying YES to the journey of purpose discovery is the first sign that shows our responsibility to living sacrificially here on earth.
Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20 explains this operation in this way: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who LOVED me and gave Himself for me”. Two words must catch our attention from this passage, in this world, believers no longer live a life of their own, we are all expected to live the life that is directed and anchored on Jesus Christ. Secondly, this life was initiated on the basis of love; we live this way because the One in whom we believe first lived this way and paid the ultimate price of being sacrificed for our sins. So, if Jesus, the One who knew no sin offered Himself willingly to be sacrificed for the cause He knew nothing about, then it becomes a laid example for everyone that believes in His Name to live a sacrificial life just like Him. The book of Hebrews 12:2 added this to our delicacy: “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
Our journey in God remains at the baby stage until we involve in Kingdom service with the right mindset and position ourselves to be used by God in His agenda for our generation.
Conclusively, in this first episode, we have been made to see the reason why we must live sacrificially and also what must motivate us to live this way; love. We have discussed the four dimensions of love and how it relates to our lifestyle of sacrifice unto God here on earth. We must understand that saying YES to the journey of purpose discovery is the first sign that shows our responsibility to living sacrificially here on earth. Our journey in God remains at the baby stage until we involve in Kingdom service with the right mindset and position ourselves to be used by God in His agenda for our generation. When we start to see life in this perspective, we become real Sons that can truly manifest the Glory and Power of God to our world. Remember, God is always waiting expectantly for the day that His children will rise in knowledge to take up responsibility and begin to pursue His interest on earth. It is while doing this that we become true LIGHTS and SALTS to our world. Our fathers paid the price of living sacrificially for God in their generation and thereby experienced such great moves that we have not stopped talking about till now. What will you deliver to your generation? God is counting on you! Will you be God’s answer to your world?