DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - A HEART STARTER #15.
"The days in which we live are days of great opportunity and of grave responsibility, and a second-hand religion is not good enough for times such as these. They demand that we should always be at our best if we are to seize our opportunities and manfully shoulder our responsibilities." - J. A. Broadbelt.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. -Romans 12:1.
Boarding the SS Dorchester on a dreary winter day in 1943 were 903 troops and four chaplains, including Moody alumnus Lt. George Fox. World War II was in full swing, and the ship was headed across the icy North Atlantic where German U-boats lurked. At 12:00 on the morning of February 3, a German torpedo ripped into the ship. "She's going down!" the men cried, scrambling for lifeboats.
A young GI crept up to one of the chaplains. "I've lost my life jacket," he said. "Take this," the chaplain said, handing the soldier his jacket. Before the ship sank, each chaplain gave his life jacket to another man. The heroic chaplains then linked arms and lifted their voices in prayer as the Dorchester went down. Lt. Fox and his fellow pastors were awarded posthumously the Distinguished Service Cross. - Today in the Word.
Well, that’s another weekend gone, and we are starting a new week. Monday’s can be very lethargic, and not easy to get going, so I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from God, rather than six cups of coffee!
I thought that today to really get our hearts started we could look at the subject of Christian sacrifice, and that we could take our example from Paul, and from the other people that we read who sacrificed so much for others that they may gain, and that God may get the glory…
Paul implores the Romans, as his brethren in Christ, by the mercies of God, to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. This is a powerful appeal. We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of his mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, all we can do: and after all, what return is it for such very rich receivings? It is acceptable to God: a reasonable service, which we are able and ready to give a reason for, and which we understand. Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind; a change, not of the substance, but of the qualities of the soul.
The progress of sanctification, dying to sin more and more, and living to righteousness more and more, is the carrying on this renewing work, till it is perfected in glory. The great enemy to this renewal is, conformity to this world. Take heed of forming plans for happiness, as though it lay in the things of this world, which soon pass away. Do not fall in with the customs of those who walk in the lusts of the flesh, and mind earthly things.
The work of the Holy Ghost first begins in the understanding, and is carried on to the will, affections, and conversation, till there is a change of the whole man into the likeness of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. Thus, to be godly, is to give up ourselves to God. – Matthew Henry.
People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply acknowledging a great debt we owe to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny? It is emphatically no sacrifice.
Rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, danger, foregoing the common conveniences of this life--these may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing compared with the glory which shall later be revealed in and through us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk, when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give Himself for us. - David Livingstone.
Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us to be the kind of leader He wants us to be.
Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to present my body as a living sacrifice, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.