Living Sacrifice – Man as Provider

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. - Romans 12:1-3 ESV

In the summer of 1986, two Soviet ships 
collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. One ship was a liner carrying over 1,200 passengers, the other a freighter. The liner sank within 15 minutes, so quickly they could not deploy the lifeboats. Government authorities said 398 people, all Soviet citizens, appeared to have drowned (116 bodies were recovered, and 282 passengers were listed as missing).

Authorities also said that both ship captains knew for 45 minutes that they were on a collision course but ignored warnings. Consequently, the cause of the fatal collision wasn’t a technological malfunction or a weather emergency but rather human arrogance and stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship's course; either could have steered clear, but neither wanted to give way to the other. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late. The investigator concluded: “The guilt of both captains is undoubted,” and both were arrested.

In Romans 12, the apostle Paul reveals the antidote to destructive arrogance and stubbornness. It begins with surrender: offering our lives as a living sacrifice, which Paul terms “your spiritual worship” (verse 1). When God has all of us, there is no room for selfish attitudes like pride, which is the world’s way. Humbly presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice is God’s way. Furthermore, a surrendered and transformed mind desires to discern and submit to God’s perfect will. The result is humility on our part and approval on God’s part.
Author and pastor Warren Wiersbe 
tells of the famed missionary Hudson Taylor, who was scheduled to speak at a large church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced Taylor in glowing terms. He told the packed crowd about all the missionary had accomplished in China and then presented him as “our illustrious guest.” Taylor stood quietly for a moment and then opened his message by saying, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.” This man of God evidently understood what Paul was saying to the church at Rome and to each of us: “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (verse 3).
As we lead our homes, serve our churches, and influence the culture that God has entrusted to our stewardship, we must humble ourselves before God and others. The epistle of[LG1]  James, quoting Proverbs 3:34, declares: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (4:6). Men, how we need to provide an example of humility! Our humble surrender to the will of God will allow the power of the Holy Spirit to have full sway in our lives, producing a powerful model for our children and our children’s children. Present yourself completely and humbly to God as a living sacrifice!

As you review your walk with the Lord, is there anything that is hindered by an attitude of pride and stubbornness?
- Are you modeling a life of sacrificial humility? Are you capable of admitting when you are in the wrong? Are you placing your family’s needs above your own? Are there changes that need to be made?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for the presence of pride and instill a willingness to surrender yourself in humility as a willing sacrifice.