How to Turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-living
- Saturday, November 03, 2007
Now, notice in verse one he talks about a living sacrifice. All the way through, we're going to be talking about that word sacrifice, okay? Now, the very first sacrifice that we're going to offer is what we call a living sacrifice, which is your body. Now, why should I do that? Well, notice what the apostle Paul says, "I beseech you therefore brethren." It's almost as if he's on his knees in front of you and who was speaking when Paul spoke? God was speaking. Now, often we talk about our prayer to God, this is God's prayer to man. Have you ever thought about God praying to you? That's what He's doing, he's saying, "I beseech you, I plead with you."
Now, if the Lord Jesus were to come and get in front of you and fold His hands and look up in your face and say I beg you do this, would you do it? Would you do it? If the Lord were to get on His knees in front of you and pray to you and ask you to do something? That's what He's doing right here, the Lord is beseeching you.
Here's the reason for it: "By the mercies of God," on the basis of what God has done for you. Why should I give my body to Him? Because He gave His body for me. He uffered, bled and died upon that cross and when we drove those nails into His hands his quivering heart was saying "I love you, I love you." Those nails were my sins and my hard heart was the hammer that drove those nails into the palms of Jesus, and yet He suffered and bled and died for our sins.
All of Romans, chapter 1 right on up to chapter 12, tells us about the mercies of God, and then the apostle Paul says, "I beseech you therefore brethren because of the mercies of God, because of God's goodness that you present your bodies to him." You see, drops of grief can never repay the debt of love I look, I owe, here Lord, I give myself away, 'tis all that I can do.
Now, that's the reason for it, and what is the requirement of it? How must I give myself of him? Well, let me suggest three ways as this Thanksgiving season you want to present a living sacrifice to the Lord.
Well, the very first thing I want to say is that you must do it voluntarily. Nobody can make you do it. You see the words "ye present." Do you see the word "present"? That's the word for a man joining an army voluntarily. Now, there are two ways to get in the army. You can go down and present yourself or they can draft you, huh? Now, He's talking here about a voluntary, a volunteer.
There's nobody can make you do this. You must do it willingly. So, that's the first thing. You must willingly say here Lord, of my own free will I present myself. Have you done that? Have you just laid yourself upon the altar?
Now, secondly not only must you do it willingly, but you must do it completely, now that you present your body as a living sacrifice, wholly. Now, that word "wholly" is akin to our word "whole," which means complete, that you give yourself completely. Have you done this? Completely?
You see, look, a sacrifice doesn't have any more plans of it's own, a sacrifice will be slain. We're to die to the old way. My wife, my children, my home, my car, my vacation, my future, my bank account, my ambitions, they all belong to the Lord. Have you done that? Have you just said, "Here Lord, I give myself away, 'tis all that I can do, I do it completely, I do it voluntarily," and, dear friend, not only was it voluntary, not only was it complete, but let me tell you something else about a sacrifice.
Now, there was the Old Testament animal sacrifice. The New Testament sacrifice is compared to that.
The Old Testament animal sacrifice, after it was slain it was bound to the altar. The Bible says to bind the sacrifice to the altar. Do you know why it was bound to the altar? Because it would tend to slide off.
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