In the face of God’s mercy, I exhort you, my brothers, to offer yourselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God.
Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice pleasing to God. It was necessary to bear the punishment for our guilt, failure and sin on behalf of us human beings. The greatest exchange in human history took place on the cross: our guilt for His righteousness. Read more in Isaiah 53!
But God does not want any secondary sacrifices either. 10 % of our money is not enough for Him, 1 hour of prayer daily is not enough for Him, nor 2 hours of Bible reading, charity, donations and time for God’s things. It is too little for Him. We want to calm our conscience and think we are good. But God thinks differently: It is not enough. He wants us whole, with skin and hair. Not 10% or 20%, not even 99% is enough for Him. He wants everything from you, your whole self, your whole life!
And that is exactly what we do not want. He can have our sins, He can have our tithes, and I also make a pilgrimage on my knees if necessary, pray any prayers for hours, study the devotions of the Church Fathers, believe everything, make an effort to be good …. Yes, I do a lot for Him. But ……… I want to make my own decisions. I want to take care of myself, I need my rest, my money, my career …. No, I don’t want to give God everything that is dear to me, especially my own will.
Yes, that’s the way the fight is in us. HE wants everything, and He also gave everything. And we give what we can spare, but we do not want to give ourselves. That is why our life is so weak, our communities so dead and our land so “pagan”.
It was different with the apostles. Paul already has a reason why he writes this verse! He himself, however, belonged to the Lord completely after he met Him on the road to Damascus and He knocked Paul down.
In the end, God belongs to your life anyway; – when it comes to an end. Why not a little earlier, so that life becomes meaningful? So that God can work through us? So that He can put all glory, power and fullness in us? Why wait to die? You cannot take anything with you, not even the memories.
Thank You Jesus, You have given yourself completely. You have come to redeem me completely and to free me, not just a little bit. That’s why I want to belong to You completely, not just a little. Oh, how hard it is to give the big, fat me to death! HEAR, help!!