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Living Sacrifices

Present your bodies not someone else’s body. And the whole entire body, not just the grumbling part or the angry part, but all of it to be offered as a sacrifice.

I’m reminded of two examples from the Old Testament. One is from Leviticus 1 where the offering is brought to the Lord and consumed on the altar as a well-pleasing sacrifice: a soothing aroma to the Lord. The entire thing is consumed in the fire and is pleasing to the Lord but that’s easy for a dead animal: after all, the thing is alive till it gets to the tabernacle then someone slits its throat and has its corpse on the altar. Living Sacrifices have a problem with staying on hot altars, or so the saying goes.

But then we have the second example of Numbers chapter 8 where the Levites are chosen by God to do special work. They remember their past: they’ve been rescued from the bondage of Egypt and delivered from the power of Pharaoh. They have crossed the great divide of the Sea and passed from one side through the other and they were being led to an inheritance and here they stood: a people freed by God and now His. They were cleansed, they were reminded of their salvation and they were told to serve Him in the tent of meeting.

They were told to offer sacrifices. The camp presented them before the tent of meeting. Finally they purified themselves (Numbers 8:22) and Aaron presented them as a wave offering, a living sacrifice to the Lord, to perform in the tabernacle: service in worship.

That was their task, serving in worship the Lord in the capacity that they were given. One clan of Levi would serve-in-worship outside the tent, another would be in charge of the utensils another in charge of going into the actual Holiest of Holies but they all had a service of worship and now they were free to do it!

Our bodies are temples and we’re living stones being built up into a building which is God’s church. Indeed Peter will also tell us that we’re a kingdom of priests who have an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that fades not away. We have service of worship (not to be confused with a meeting with a guitar band up front) but our worship service is not limited to the four walls of a building for the Lord points out that we worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.

So when you teach Sunday School to hyper-active five year olds: you’re serving in worship to the Lord. When you preach the Gospel on a street corner: you’re serving in worship to the Lord. When you serve your bad boss and your good boss both as if to the Lord—you’re serving in worship to the Lord. When you scrub the toilet for someone else with cheerfulness and offering yourself to the Lord’s service: you are worshipping in service to the Lord!

Do you see the logic of it? We are free to Do and my goodness—go and Do It. Offer up your bodies, Paul is saying, every chance you get because it’s reasonable: you are Free to Do It! A hand is needed to pick up some elderly—perfect opportunity. No one is cleaning the church next Sunday: perfect opportunity. Your neighbor broke his hip and needs help around the house: perfect opportunity. The gospel isn’t being preached in a certain neighborhood: perfect opportunity.  The natives will probably spear you for preaching this to them: perfect opportunity.  Not just to be useful but to serve and worship the Lord in action with your Living, breathing body.

We have been saved—not by works—but unto good works notes Paul in Ephesians. So we do and thus we are free to worship wherever we are.

Romans Series

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