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. Romans 12:1
Have you ever thought about how much brainpower it must have taken to devise all of the different types and means of sacrifice that are mentioned in the Old Testament? The specifications for the construction of the tabernacle were amazing, but still weren't good enough to reconcile the children of Israel to a holy God. Sacrifices must be made.
Sacrifices. That is of which the first 3 Chapters of Leviticus teaches. Okay, I think there is more later, but I stopped today at chapter 3. God loves a barbeque! How fitting for today, Memorial Day, with its tradition of grilling out (along with remembering our deceased loved ones), that I would read about this. :) Where was I? Sacrifices. They are of a sweet smelling savour unto God. Take a deep breath and imagine the smell of the cooking meat on the altar. Six times in Leviticus 1-3 does God mention that the offerings were a sweet savour unto Him (Lev 1:9, 13, 17; Lev 2:2, 9; Lev 3:5). Do you think He is trying to tell us something?
We are to be sacrifices to God as well. Our lives and thoughts should and can be sweet smelling to Him if we keep our focus on Him and do His will day by day. As we are tried and purified by the fire of God in our attempts to set our lives apart to God, our "offerings" will be a sweet smelling aroma to God.
Looking at Romans 12:1 above, it is our reasonable service to live our lives as a living sacrifice to God. Reasonable service. That term always smacked me. But Lord, I want to be outstanding to You, and not just average "reasonable"! Maybe that is why we need to live by the mercies of God, asking Him to help us in becoming good servants of Him over and above the reasonable.
Questions to think about:
1) Am I giving God "reasonable" service? Am I truly offering up my first-fruits, my best, as an offering to Him?
2) What can I sacrifice to God that I'm hanging on to that would give even more back to Him?
LORD, help me to see where I am weak. Help me to see where I have failed You in my "sacrifices" to You. Give me the desire to seek Your ways over my ways and live my life wholly, not partially, sold out to You. Amen.