The Sacrificed Life

Sacrificial Lamb

Romans 12:1 AMP I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Did you realize that a sacrifice dies so that someone else can live? That’s what Jesus did for us; He died that we might live. He gave His life so we could experience abundant life. He died for me that I might live for Him. For us to be a living sacrifice means that everything that we are and have is laid on the altar of service and worship for our God; every moment of every day, whatever we desire is crucified that God may live through us.

1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 AMP Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own. You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

Wow, my body as that of a born again believer in Christ Jesus, now is the very sanctuary of the Holy Spirit Who lives within me. He is a Gift from God to me that seals me as a child of His. So, since Jesus paid for my salvation with His own blood I now have the responsibility to live each day sacrificing my will for His, my desires for His, my thoughts for His, my emotions for His….my everything for His. I am to be a “living sacrifice” for Jesus!

Question to ponder: Am I giving my all to Him today that He might live through me?

Confession for today based on God’s word: I make a decisive dedication of my body, mind, will, emotions, and spirit to God as a living sacrifice, devoted and set apart for His use and to be well pleasing in His sight today which is my reasonable service to Him and worship of Him.

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You for giving Jesus to die for me that I might experience abundant life. I choose today to give You all that I am, that I have and that I ever hope to be. I pray that my life will be a reflection of the life that You gave for me. May I glorify You in my spirit, soul and body today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Welcome To This Broken Vessel

Mark 14:3-9 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? “For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

According to John 12:3 the woman in this passage of Scripture that anointed Jesus with the costly oil of spikenard was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. After she had broken the flask of oil over His head, she knelt down and wiped His feet with her hair. She worshiped Him with all that she had; her savings and her very being. It is noted in John 12:3 that this was a pound of the fragrant oil that she broke over Jesus’ head. It was valued at a year’s wages. Mary was described in Luke 10:39 as one who sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. Jesus said she had chosen that good part which would not be taken away from her. Mary was a worshiper! She loved Him and worshiped Him without caring what others thought of her. But notice that even though she was a worshiper there were those in her midst that did not share her worship of Jesus. In fact, her worship brought out their indignation! They sharply criticized her for worshiping Jesus with that valuable a gift. And yet Jesus upheld her for what she did! He chastened them for being critical of her. In fact, He went on to say that wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she had done would be told as a memorial to her! God desires our worship! When the praises go up, the glory comes down!

How do you worship the Lord?

I love to sing praise and worship songs as I worship Him. I have found that praise and worship music helps me to quiet myself before the Lord as I listen for His voice. It draws me into His presence. There was a time when my life was in such a turmoil that I would sit in the dark in my rocking chair and listen to worship music just to calm my soul. I needed the music to still my heart in the midst of the storm.

It is recorded in 1 Samuel 16:23 that when a distressing spirit would come upon Saul he would call for David to come and play his harp and the distressing spirit would leave as David worshiped the Lord. There is something about our worship that draws us to the Lord and away from the evil that tries to distress us.

Psalm 22:3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

God is enthroned in the praises of His people. When the praises of believers go up to God it builds a throne for Him to sit upon! How precious are our praises to Him! It brings His presence into our midst. He inhabits, or takes up residence, in the praises of His people!

Last weekend I was honored to help with some revival services in North Carolina. As we worshiped the Lord there was a point in time when it seemed as if the air became charged with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The atmosphere was heavy with the presence of the Lord. You could sense Him right there in our midst. He came and inhabited our praises! I listened as people’s hearts were broken before Him as they worshiped Him.

Jesus said in John 4:23, 24: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The word for “truth” here is the Greek word aletheia, which according to Strong’s Concordance #225, means veracity, reality, sincerity, accuracy, integrity, truthfulness, dependability, and propriety. It is the opposite of fictitious, feigned or false.

To worship in spirit and in truth is to abandon yourself to God without pretense, worshiping Him without worrying about what others think of you or how you are perceived by those around you. Isn’t that what Mary did when she broke that costly flask of oil over Jesus’ head? Don’t you think she somehow knew that she would be criticized for her worship of Him in that manner? And yet, she worshiped with her whole heart and expressed it even through her finances. She gave all to Jesus! We sing that old song, “All to Jesus, I surrender; all to Him I freely give.” And yet, do we really give Him our all?

Yesterday a dear sister in Christ brought back to my remembrance an old worship song that we used to sing back in the early 1990’s.

“Welcome into this place, welcome into this broken vessel. You desire to abide in the praises of Your people. So we lift our hands, and we lift our hearts, as we offer up this praise unto Your name.”

It brought back so many memories of my worship of Him at that time. I love to simply throw my head back and raise my hands in total abandonment as I worship Him.

He is worthy of our worship!

Lord, I worship You today! You are so worthy, Lord; and I lift my hands and my heart up to You as I offer up this praise unto Your name! Thank You, for abiding in my praises, Lord! Thank You for Your presence that drives out the darkness and distress! Thank You for receiving my worship today, Father! I know that You will never turn me away. You are always ready to receive me when I come before You in adoration and worship. You are great and greatly to be praised! All glory be unto You, Lord Jesus! Worthy is the Lamb Who was sacrificed before the foundation of the world for the sin of mankind! You are glorious and worthy to be adored! I worship You, Lord, and welcome You into my life today! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Are You Hungry And Thirsty?

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 

Directions for life; fullness of joy; and pleasures forevermore all flow from being in the presence of the Lord. Are you trying to make it through life on your own; under your own power and ability? The Lord says in His word that you can have all that you need and want from Him, as you come into His presence.

 

As a young woman going through so many challenges in my life, I would get up early in the morning, while it was still dark and sit in my rocking chair in front of the sound system listening to worship music; just rocking back and forth basking in the presence of the Lord. It was at those times that my soul was quieted that I could feel the presence of the Lord. During those restful moments was when I gained the strength to face the day, wisdom for the decisions of life and the assurance that whatever life brought to me, my God was there with me to help me through the tough times. As I set a pattern for my life through those devotional times, I have learned to draw strength from the quiet times with the Lord in the morning. His word has become a life-line to me as well as His presence. The Holy Spirit saturates me with His anointing as I worship Him and fills me to overflowing with His love and compassion. He is my strength and salvation, my stronghold in the time of trouble. Won’t you draw near and receive the manna that comes through hearing His voice?

 

Isaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not.

 

It is in returning to Him and resting in Him that salvation comes. Quietness and confidence are both by-products of returning to the Lord and resting in Him. But so many times we are too busy to quiet ourselves before the Lord to hear from Him. We insist on “doing” things our own way and under our own power only to find that we are frustrated and disappointed when things don’t work out the way we think they should.

 

Psalm 63:1-5 O GOD, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. And my mouth shall praise You will joyful lips.

 

Here the Psalmist is proclaiming the love that he has for the Lord and how he longs to be in the presence of God. He knows that the satisfaction and contentment for his soul only comes as he communes with the Lord. Praise and adoration for God flow from his lips in his personal time of worship. He comes to the Lord early in the morning and basks in His love until he is filled with worship and praise.

 

As I read and write about the Lord I feel a stirring within my belly. A drawing of spirit to Spirit. My soul is satisfied with the Lord and I am refreshed. He has become my life, my breath and my reason for living. I am constantly drawn to Him with a hunger and thirst that is unquenchable, and when I come into His presence I am filled to overflowing. Cares and concerns fade into His capable hands and I am comforted in knowing that He is my God, my refuge in the times of trouble. When I am with Him I am safe and secure in His care.

 

Acts 17:24-28 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. “Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

 

God created us with a God-shaped vacuum within that only He can fill. And yet, so many times we run around trying to fill it with all sorts of other things: shopping, food, relationships, bigger and better “things”. Those things will never fill the void that He created for Himself that He might inhabit His people and bring satisfaction and contentment as we “live and move and have our being” in Him. He is not far from us, just a prayer away!

 

Friend, are you searching for something today that will bring contentment into your heart? Look unto Jesus; draw near to Him and He will fill the void within. Worship Him and bask in His presence and He will fill you to overflowing. He will take away the cares of the world and replace them with His joy, His strength and His peace. Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13 that he had found the secret to contentment:

 

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

He learned to be content and satisfied regardless of life’s conditions because he came to Christ and drew his strength from Him.

 

The Amplified Bible says it this way in Philippians 4:13: I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient through Christ’s sufficiency].

 

Do you lack strength for the journey? Come to Jesus and let Him fill you with His strength! Are you tired and overwhelmed with cares for family and friends? Christ will infuse you with His inner strength so you will be ready to face whatever lies ahead. He will give you the sufficiency, His very own, so that you can meet and exceed the problems and challenges of life. Come to Jesus and receive life and that more abundant!

 

John 10:10 AMP The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, til it overflows).

 

Father, I thank You for giving Jesus to die for us that we might experience Your life and that in abundance! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying down Your life for us that we might trade our sin for Your righteousness! You are the Lord and are worthy of my praise and adoration this morning! I yield myself to You for You to fill me to overflowing with Your very presence. Fill in all the nooks and crannies of my heart today, Lord Jesus. Grant me Your vision for the future, Your compassion for the lost and hurting and Your ability to overcome the challenges of life. Thank You, Lord, for the fullness of joy that I find in Your presence. I pray for my friends this morning that You would reveal Yourself to them as all that they need in this life, Lord. Cause their eyes to be opened to the deceit of the enemy who is trying to pull them away from You. Give them a hunger and thirst for You that is unquenchable and cause them to desire to come into Your presence to worship You and be refreshed. Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer this morning. I believe I receive when I pray because Your word tells me that if I will come to You praying in accordance with Your will that I will have those requests that I have made of You. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my requests! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

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