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.
I am still reading Surrender. In the latest chapter, I read a little about the Communist rise to power. Apparently, it began with only a small group of people, but within a few years was a dominating force. It is believed that one of the main reasons is the zealous devotion and sacrifice that the men had. In the chapter DeMoss includes a letter from a Communist Party member to his fiancee. The purpose of the letter was to break the engagement.
Reading it cut me to the core! How could someone be SO dedicated to such a cause when it had prospered him nothing? How could I not be so dedicated to Christ when He paid everything and has given me so much more?
There is one thing about which I am in dead earnest and that is the Socialist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife, my mistress, my bread and my meat. I work at it in the daytime, I dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens as time goes on. I shall be in it the rest of my life.
When you think of me, it is necessary to think of Socialism as well because I am inseparably bound to it. Therefore, I can’t carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating it to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas, and notions according to how they affect the Socialist cause and by their attitude toward it.
I’ve already been in jail because of my ideas, and if necessary, I’m willing to go before a firing squad. A certain percentage of us get killed or imprisoned; even for those who escape these harder ends, life is no bed of roses. A genuine radical lives in virtual poverty. He turns back to the party every penny he makes above what is absolutely necessary to keep him alive. Radicals don’t have the time or money for many movies or concerts or t-bone steads or decent homes or new cars.
We’ve been described and fanatics. We are. Our lives are dominated by one great over-shadowing factor — the struggle for Socialism.
I want to be that radical! I want to be a fanatic — for Christ and His Kingdom!
I am not there. I love the Lord, but I will often put aside the thing He is calling me to in order to do something that I like better. I don’t sacrifice my time, talents, or money the way this Socialist fanatic did. And I can’t get over the fact that he really didn’t even have a good cause! I do! I have the best cause in the world!!! I have the Kingdom of God. Eternity! Forgiveness. Abundant life. Joy. Peace. Love. Freedom. And so much more.
How can I be a living sacrifice? My flesh is so weak! But the second verse gives some direction: “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.” (Romans 12:2)
So be transformed by the renewing of my mind. How do I renew my mind? Primarily through study of His Word. Also prayer, following His commands, and fellowship with believers.
My prayer tonight then is this:
Dear Lord, You have given me so much. Though I am a sinner, evil in Your sight, and Your enemy, You loved me so much that You gave Your only Son to die and rise again for me. You paid the price and called me Your own. You filled me with Your mercy and grace to live a life free from the bondage of sin. Every day Your grace overflows my heart and life enabling me to live a life that pleases You. And yet, every day I surrender my life back to my old desires. I beg You Lord to transform my heart and mind in Christ so that my life would be one of total surrender to You. Let my life be the fragrant aroma of a living sacrifice — pleasing in Your sight. Let it be a tool for Your Kingdom. And may it bring You all glory and honor. Amen.