March 15, 2007

 

Addicted to Self

By Wendy Pope

 

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."
Romans 12:1(NIV)

         

Devotion:

As I stared at the bags of children's clothes in the hall, I heard His voice say, "Give them to Stacey." I began to challenge the Voice and gave my justifications for why His suggestion was ludicrous. "I have my own children to clothe, Lord. I sell these clothes, to make money to buy new clothes for my children. The clothes in these bags can make a lot of money." Once again, I heard the Voice repeat the command, "Give them to Stacey."

 

With all my heart I wish I could say I obeyed promptly and with joy. The bags sat at the end of the hall for several days. I thought by doing this, I would feel better about disobeying, and the Voice would go away. However, the Voice became louder and my spirit could not allow me to give-in to direct disobedience. I made the call and arranged to take the clothes to Stacey's house. This is now a regular practice for me. I buy the clothes and take care of them during the time my children use them. As the clothes are outgrown, I fill the bag for Stacey's children.

 

This experience was one in a long line of lessons revealing to me a sickness I was not aware that I was plagued with. I am a recovering Self-a-holic. I had always considered myself a giving person. I took food to the sick, bought Christmas gifts for the needy, and our family has an adopted daughter in a third world country. I thought that was kind enough. After all, I must take care of my family and my needs.

 

Through my recovery I have come to realize that my life is to be sacrificed, not just my money, clothes, or food. Another lesson that has been made very clear to me is the following: if the giving doesn't cost, it doesn't count. The “cost” is not necessarily monetary but is to be a sacrifice for the giver. Sacrifices are relevant to the giver. God's Word reminds us that to whom much is given, much is required.

 

Before recovery, I read the word “sacrifice” in today's key verse and thought of dead animals lying on an altar in the desert of the Old Testament. Sacrifice is my act of worship to a living God. Living sacrifices are for the here and now. Let me challenge you to climb on the altar and be blessed. The sacrifice is worth the cost. Don't trust me; trust God!

 

Dear Lord, You are the giver of the ultimate gift, the sacrifice of your Son. Today I ask you to enable me see the needs of others and be willing to offer myself as a sacrifice to help. Change my heart to be like your heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Sponsor a Child in Need, click to learn more

 

Do You Know Him?

 

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Application Steps: 

Pray and ask God to reveal ways you can live a sacrificial life. Journal the answers He provides.

 

Reflections: 

How does my life reflect sacrifice?

 

How do I define sacrificial living?

 

What are my inner thoughts about sacrificial living?

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 4:5,"Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD."(NIV)

 

Ephesians 5:2, "And live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (NIV)

 

1 Peter 2:5, "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (NIV)

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org