Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dedication in a World Without It

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:1-2

Homosexual super-heroes, flesh-eating zombies, pastors fasting for abortion rights, theologians arguing whether the SON of God was a male or female, rampant divorce among Christians:  what in the world is going on?  These current news headlines are all symptoms of a missing element in many pulpits.  What ever happened to wholly dedicated believers striving to live holy unto the LORD as God gave biblical direction and the presence of the Holy Spirit as support?  What we desperately need is dedication to God in a world without it.

For centuries offering a sacrifice was the basic means by which men and women worshiped God.  Because Christ's atonement soon put the practice out of business, we have lost touch with the spiritual meanings associated with offering up of a defenseless animal to be destroyed due to our personal sin. It was God's way of letting us sense the awfulness of our sin.  A life had to perish to keep us from perishing.  Jesus seemingly changed all of that, or did He?  No, the awfulness of sin, and the danger of self deception in all things spiritual led the Holy Ghost to have Paul pen the words above.  God, through Paul, is begging for us to offer ourselves in complete dedication.  We are to offer ourselves in view of Christ's offering for us; it is the reasonable thing to do!  Not a dead nor cold sacrifice, but a vibrant living sacrifice.  A sacrificial life lived outwards from the place of sacrifice--the altar.   A life lived in clear view of the cross.

Why should we live devoted and dedicated lives?  Because we are not our own.  We are bought with a price.  A  man offering a sin offering had to dispatch the animal that was being offered for his sin while placing his hand on the head of the unfortunate animal.  It was his means of acknowledging that the sacrifice had taken his judgment.  Is this not what we do?  Christians should understand the substitutionary sacrifice that Jesus made for them--He paid their personal redemptive price.  "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Corinthians 6:20)."  As LORD, Jesus has full rights and authority to demand how we should present ourselves!  He demands that we be His obedient servants!

There is much more to say here, but this will be the start.  In the meantime, take a moment and ask the holy Spirit to illuminate your service to God.  Is it pleasing and acceptable, or is their need for fresh dedication.  

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