Have I Died Yet Today
Bible Reading: Romans 12:1
I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept. Romans 12:1
On September 11, 2001, hundreds of police and firefighters answered a call for help at the World Trade Center in New York City. As they entered the flaming buildings, they had no way to foresee that they would soon sacrifice their lives to save others. With each step up the crowded staircases of the twin towers, they helped more people to safety. But with each step, they also drew nearer to the time when they would give up their own lives, dying to let others live.
Most of us have never had to be rescued from a flaming building. But someone did die for each of us. In fact, we were saved in the most heroic rescue of all time. You know the familiar story: Because we were unable to please a holy God, we faced judgment—eternal separation from the God who created us. But Jesus became a man and died in our place so we could live forever with him.
Here’s the wild part. In Romans 12:1 God calls us to do the same thing: to give ourselves as a sacrifice. But there is a key change: He wants a living sacrifice. Sounds like one of those weird word pairs, like “pretty ugly” or “jumbo shrimp.”
Sacrifice usually means something dies. Yet there are lots of great ways to sacrifice ourselves without dying. We become living sacrifices when we serve God and others with our abilities, time, and resources.
Take a vote. Which of the following activities is a way to be a living sacrifice? Thumbs up for yes, thumbs down for no:
• helping an elderly neighbor by doing yard work
• giving some of your money to a youth group missions project
• using your singing ability by joining a kids’ choir
• spending a couple hours each week visiting patients at a nursing home
• volunteering to help your parents clean the garage or attic
• spending the summer on a short-term missions trip
Each of those ideas deserves a thumbs-up. And we have an incredible reason to offer ourselves sacrificially in those ways. As Paul wrote, “When you think of what [God] has done for you, is this too much to ask?” (Romans 12:1). Our daily, living sacrifices are acts of worship to the one who gave everything for us.
TALK: Aren’t you glad that Jesus was willing to give his life for you? How do you want to offer your life as a living sacrifice?
PRAY: Jesus, we want to say thanks for your death for us by offering ourselves as living sacrifices. Show us how.
ACT: How can you be a living sacrifice today? Think about it. Then do it!