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Week 13: Be A Living Sacrifice
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Week 13: Be A Living Sacrifice

When we were children, we were self-centered. We demanded things from our parents. “I want you to carry me!” “Give me that toy now!” If we didn’t get what we wished, we cried and we kicked. But as we grew older, we learned to give instead of ask all the time. We learned to please our parents and repay their love for us .

The same goes with our spiritual growth. When we first came to the Lord, we had many requests. We asked for healing; we asked for peace; we asked for quick answers to our problems. But as we get to know our Lord and appreciate his love more and more,we want to give him something in return.

How can we repay Christ’s love for us? Will God be pleased with our wealth and possessions? Paul urges us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1). What God wants from you is not what you have, but YOU—with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength. This is what it means to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, and this is the offering that pleases our Lord.

The way to repay Christ is to live for him. In fact, this is only our duty. Christ has purchased us with his blood. We are not our own (1Co 6:19). We now belong to him. Since Christ laid down his life for us, we should no longer live for ourselves but for him who died for us and was raised again (2Cor 5:15).

Living for Christ begins with learning to give. This as well as the following lessons will focus on the theme of offering and dedication. When we give ourselves fully to the Lord, he will use us to accomplish his great purpose.We will become instruments through which Christ brings his love to the world. Our lives will also have purpose and meaning.

Some Basic Principles

Sacrifice Out of Love.

We need a lot of love to sacrifice for God, his kingdom, and his people (2 Cor 8:8; ). But we may wonder how we should go about sacrificing ourselves for God. We sacrifice ourselves by giving up what we have. And we must understand that sacrifices require a lot of love on our part. Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, willingly gave up half his possessions to the poor and reimbursed victims of his ill-gotten gain because he experienced a great love from Jesus. The Bible says we love God because God first loved us (1 Jn ). Those who have never felt or experienced selfless love will find it very hard to selflessly love others. So the first step in learning how to give and offer ourselves to the Lord is learning to love God and man (Deut 6:5; Mt ).

Transform Our Mind.

To be a living sacrifice for Christ, we can’t only offer up our body; we need to offer up our mind as well. The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2). If we are to devote ourselves to God, we need to transform our mind. As disciples, we can no longer think like people in this world think; we can no longer do what everyone else does. To be selfish and self-seeking is all too common, but only if we have Christ’s mind can we willingly serve and love others selflessly (1 Cor ; Phil 2:5-45).

Give our Heart to Jesus.

Before we can give our worldly treasures to God, we must first give Jesus our heart. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt ). That’s why Jesus praised a poor widow once upon seeing her put two small pennies into the temple treasury. After Jesus saw what this poor widow did, he called his disciples to him and told them it wasn’t the amount that impressed him, but the fact that the poor widow gave her whole livelihood (Mk -45). Now if we think about it, this widow didn’t have much to give to anyone, let alone the temple treasury; yet, she willingly gave her whole heart to God.

Suggested Guidelines

Use Your Spiritual Gifts.

If you want to become a living sacrifice for Christ, you need to use the spiritual gifts God has given you to serve other brothers and sisters in Christ (Rom 12:5-45; Eph 4:11f; 1 Pet 4:10f). It is your service and love for others that make you a living sacrifice in God’s holy temple (the church). In the New Testament, there’s no longer a Temple with appointed priests or daily animal sacrifices; rather, we’re all priests of God’s church (1 Pet 2:9). Since we are given the status as God’s priests and can offer up ourselves as living sacrifices, we must learn how to use the gifts and talents God gives us to help build up his church and proclaim his glory (Mt 25:14-45; Lk 19:11-45; Eph 4:12; 1 Pet 2:9). If you are good at encouraging others, you should encourage others. If you are good at evangelizing to others, you should evangelize. Whatever your gift is, use it for God’s glory and his kingdom to the best of your ability. In this way, God will add more and more to your sacrifices, and you’ll never feel you’ve lost anything.

Offer Up Your Wealth.

Many people today are disgusted when organized religion asks for donations and contributions, especially when they think a corrupt motive is involved. The fact is, a lot of misappropriation of funds among organized religious leaders have taken place. Nevertheless, the spirit of giving in the True Jesus Church should be for you, a willing and joyful sacrifice. We should realize the church is not a geographical place, building, or human organization. God’s church consists of God’s people—divinely called and gathered out of the world as God’s holy and special people. So while the money a church receives may be used to purchase or improve church buildings, the money must ultimately be spent for the good of the entire congregation – as is true when the electricity, gas, and water bills are paid on time at your local church.

Give Willingly and Joyfully.

Offering to God shouldn’t be a struggle, for in the end, what we receive from God and his church is worth much more than we could ever pay for in terms of cash (Mal 3:10-12) . The Bible encourages us to offer up our wealth and resources willingly and joyfully (2 Cor 8:3, 12; 9:5, 7). It is not the amount you offer to church that’s important, but it’s your willingness to give that really counts. If you give willingly to the church, your gift is accepted according to as much as you have, not according to what you don’t (2 Cor ). So you should give as much as you can, according to your ability and your heart. In terms of money, you may be asking, “How much is enough?” Many churches today feel a tithe, or 10%, is required giving, since Jacob (Israel) vowed to give God 10% of all God gave him (Gen 28:22). These churches say tithes are required to support church ministers, just like tithes were used to support the priests and Levites who works for the tabernacle ministry (Num 18:21-45; cf. 1 Cor 9:7-45). However, today we don’t generally set an amount you must give under compulsion, because giving should be done according to your heart and not according to your guilt. Paul says, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart…” (2 Cor 9:6f). If you are willing to give 10%, 20%, 30% or more, who is to say no. This is a private matter between you and the Lord.

Give Your Time and Energy.

Your physical life is finite—a fixed period of time and energy—so you should number your days and spend your time wisely (Ps 39:4; 90:12; Eccl 8:5f). We often hear encouragement from pastors and elders in the church to avoid wasting time on worldly pursuits and enjoyment; yet, realizing you need to stop wasting time on the things of this world means nothing if you don’t know what you’re going to do with the time you’re not wasting. So it’s important to discover what God’s will for you in your life is. What do you think God wants you to do with your time and energy? You can only productively focus your time and energy in something valuable if you know what that something valuable is. It’s hard to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going or why you’re heading there.

What Does God Want Us to Do?

No sacrifice pleases God more than obedience and submission (1Sam ). When Jesus came to the world, he offered the best sacrifice by dedicating himself to carrying out God’s will (Heb 10:5-7). While we diligently serve God and give him our time or energy for God, we have to think about what God wants us to do. We need to learn to respect God’s will in every choice that we make. Being a living sacrifice ultimately boils down to being what the Lord want you to be, saying what that Lord want you to say, and doing what the Lord want you to do. A life that is centered on God’s will is a fragrant offering that pleases the Lord.

Write down other guidelines that have worked for you.

Write down new ideas that could work for you.


1.      The greatest offering ever made in the history of mankind was ______________.

2.      Why must we offer ourselves as a “living sacrifice?”

3.      What can you do to offer yourself as a “living sacrifice?” Can you do this at home, at work, and at school? Or does it only count if you become an ordained minister?

4.      Memorize Mt 6:21 and write it down.

5.      What does it mean for you to offer up your mind? (Rom 12:2)If you’re concerned that offering tithes will create a hardship for you and your family, what’s the scripture that shall give you faith?

6.      You offer because you want to, not because you have to. T/F

7.      Read 2 Cor . What does this verse teach you about offering?

8.      What did Paul say was the reason God gave us different gifts? (Eph 4:11-16)

9.      Read Rom 12:3-8. What are the gifts God has given you with which you may now offer generously and cheerfully?

Case Studies

1.      Moses recently converted to Christianity. Before he experienced God’s love, Moses was an atheist, who felt God didn’t exist. As an atheist, Moses thought the best thing in life was to be happy and find pleasure in all his pursuits. Moses was also born into a very poor family, yet he studied hard and put forth his best effort to get a high-paying job. After Moses was baptized, a church brother came up to him and told him that he should donate 10% of all his income to the church. The church brother said it was his moral obligation to do so. Suddenly, Moses felt an extreme struggle and conflict within his heart. Eventually, Moses willingly gave in to what his conscience was telling him to do. Moses gave the church 10% of his next paycheck, but Moses kept feeling like giving away this money was such a great loss. As a result of his feelings, Moses decided to put in a double effort to make more money. He exhausted himself with overtime work, so he could increase his income. Eventually, Moses became so spent from his long work hours, he would often fall asleep during church services.

Do you see a problem with Moses’ spirit of giving?

If you were Moses’ church friend, how would you counsel Moses?

What do you think God would want Moses to give to him?

2.      Orpah, a church sister, is currently in college. She spends most of her time at school. Unfortunately, there are no other brothers and sisters at Orpah’s school, and most of Orpah’s friends are unbelievers. As a result of spending a lot of time with them, she often doesn’t have much time to read the Bible or commune with God in prayer. Orpah’s night life usually consists of going out to dinner with her friends, catching the latest movie, and then coming back to watch the one-hour TV dramas she’s recorded with her roommates. During the day, Orpah generally busies herself with extracurricular activities, school work, and part-time job. After several months, Orpah begins to think about using more of her time for God. But she doesn’t know where to begin. She often asks herself, “Does God want me to just cut myself off from my friends? I mean how can I keep my friends if I don’t spend time with them?” Orpah really feels like she isn’t doing much for God except faithfully attend Sabbath services. And even when Orpah goes to church, she feels like she doesn’t get much out of it.

Do you think there are problems with Orpah’s attitude at church or the way she spends her time and money?

Is there anything about Orpah’s confusion in her spiritual life that you can relate to? Discuss your answers with others.

How do you think Orpah can live a more meaningful life as a Christian disciple?


1.      You learned how you should use your spiritual gifts for Christ in this lesson (e.g., if you have the gift of evangelizing, you should evangelize). There’s no secret formula for discovering your spiritual gifts; instead, you need to try your hand at doing something (like evangelizing) before you can discover if God works with you (like evangelizing). Spiritual gifts don’t always show themselves right away, so you should try your best at doing a variety of things for God. For your activity, make a list of spiritual gifts you feel you could use to glorify God and help others in church. Over the next month, try to use the gifts you listed to glorify God and edify the church. Evaluate your progress at the end of the month. Did you feel like you tried to accomplish something? If you didn’t try, try to do better. If you tried, yet feel you accomplished nothing, don’t be discouraged. The sacrifices you offer will often seem ineffective until God work is manifested; yet, you must steadfastly use your spiritual gifts, fervently pray for God’s abidance, and patiently wait for God’s work (1 Kgs 18:32-45; 1 Cor 3:6; Gal 6:9f; 2Thess 3:10).


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Publisher: True Jesus Church