Amazing Mercy - Week of November 8th

By Judy Nichols

November 8, 2015

Romans 12:1 says, "I appeal to you therefore . . . by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." It is God’s amazing mercy that prompts us to dedicate our whole lives to Him. We no longer bring an animal to an altar to be killed and its body burned, as the Old Testament saints did. These animal sacrifices were pictures of the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Rather, we offer ourselves as those alive from the dead (Rom. 6:13). All we are, all we have, all we do, all we ever hope to be or have or do, we lay it all down as an offering to God.

What is amazing to me is that this offering of ours is called "holy and acceptable to God." The Old Testament sacrificial animals had to be perfect; they could not be blind or lame or have any blemishes or sores. Yet we who are still so frail, so imperfect, so dogged by the flesh, He accepts as holy.

God accepts the offering of ourselves not because of any merit on our part, for there is none. Neither does He accept it because of any effort on our part to be holy, though we certainly do strive for holiness because of our reverence and love for Him. He accepts our sacrifice of ourselves only on the basis of the shed blood of the Lamb of God. His Son, Jesus Christ, was holy, perfect, and without moral blemish in His human life on earth. He is the innocent One upon whom the blame for the world’s sin was laid. He is the One who took the wrath of God, which we deserve.

Having removed the barrier of sin that separated mankind from God, He is now free to view those who belong to Christ as perfect and holy, just as His own Son was. Indeed, He now views us as in Christ. Another amazing fact!

What becomes of our offering ourselves is not up to us, but up to God. He may use us and our gifts to bless others and glorify Himself. He may also call us to lay them down permanently, as it were. Certainly there are times in all our lives when something we thought would be God’s will for us turns out to be otherwise. Then, like Paul, we are called to view everything as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ (Phil. 3:8). A sacrifice is only a sacrifice if we leave it on the altar. And being in Christ, being called holy and acceptable to God, is undoubtedly better than trying to have our own way.

Have you presented yourself to God as a living sacrifice? Are you willing for all you are, all you have, and all you do to be at His disposal? God’s amazing mercy has made it possible for you and me to be holy and acceptable to Him. Nothing else compares with that.

© Judy Nichols 2015

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