This week, I began reading Leviticus for about the third year in a row.

Yes, I am one of the people who starts the Bible reading plan at the beginning of every year and somehow gets distracted around the time I begin reading this particular book. I won’t lie to you, it is a hard one to get through! You see, Leviticus is a book of laws. Each chapter is riddled with rules that the Israelite people had to follow to be in right standing with God.

Around the second page, you begin to realize that no one could ever keep all these rules! You begin to get thankful for Jesus’s blood. Then you start to wonder what the importance of reading it is.

This year, at the same time as I have started reading Leviticus, God brought me to a passage in the book we are studying, Romans, that has reminded me of why He gave us His book of laws.

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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.

(Romans 12:1-2 ESV)

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You see, the first chapters of Leviticus are all about sacrifices. Different sacrifices were given for different sins and for different reasons. And they were all given to solidify the relationship with God.

How cool is it that we get to do the same in our relationship with Christ?! Okay, so maybe it wouldn’t be cool if we were killing and burning our pets (thank You Lord for letting me live post-Messiah), but God gives us the command to actually be the sacrifice! But rather than being sacrificed in death, we get to do it in life!

Sacrifice yourself by giving up what is costly to you.

The first sacrifice we are going to learn of is the burnt offering. In this offering, theIMG_7268.PNG Israelites had to offer the entire animal. Other offerings allowed the animal to be used for food or even clothing after it was killed. In a land where food and clothing were hard to come by, this would be the most costly offering.

It would have been the best sheep or goat. The one without blemish (Leviticus 1:10).

In the same way, we can offer ourselves by turning over what is costly to us. Maybe that looks like turning our jobs over to the Lord day-to-day as to not become obsessed with our own accomplishments.

Maybe it means using your talent to share the Gospel.

Maybe it means turning over your finances to Him, giving Him the first of everything you earn.

You see, what makes a Christian’s life look different than anyone else, is the act of owning nothing.

Those Israelites raised their sheep from birth. They nursed them. They grew them to be strong to meet their own needs. And yet God reminded them that even so, those sheep were not their own. They were God’s, given to His children to steward well, to sacrifice when He asked.

Sacrifice yourself by worshipping Him in everything.

The next offering the Israelites would give was a grain offering. Though this may not seem like a big deal to us, the Israelites were living in the desert where grain did not grow. It was a delicacy. Giving it to the Lord was an act of worship and thanksgiving for what they did have.

In our Sunday morning and Wednesday night church society, it is so easy to see worship as a set time of our week. We worship when the band gets up on the stage. And if we are really good Christians, we may turn on a worship playlist in the car instead of the new Taylor Swift album.

This offering beckons us to rethink worship. You see, worship is the giving of what is precious to us, what is rare.

We worship when we spend our time in prayer, asking God to use our day-to-day delicacies: our conversations with a new co-worker, our spare time when the kids are at a friend’s home, our date nights with our husbands. All of these things can be used to spread the Gospel, commune with the Father, or further our spiritual relationships with one another.

Sacrifice yourself by fellowshipping with Him daily.

IMG_7269.PNGFinally, the Israelites would offer peace offerings to God to demonstrate fellowship between the Father and His people (Leviticus 3).

They celebrated their relationship with the Lord, and yet we who have the Holy Spirit so often find ourselves taking advantage of Him.

It is nothing for me to get busy in a day and find myself going to bed without having cracked the pages of my Bible. It is nothing for me to neglect prayer.

I feel accomplished when I have given a smidgen of time to my Creator, while I should feel embarrassed that that is the standard I have given myself. So let us begin turning that around. Let us begin celebrating the fact that we can fellowship with God whenever we want!

We have got to present our bodies as living sacrifices by using them to spend time with our Father.

It means getting up an hour earlier to spend time with Him before our children and social media begin calling our names. It means turning off the music that makes our minds wander and worship Him with the music of the angels. It means turning our conversations from “How was your day?” to “How is your walk?”

It means praying and fasting getting on our knees and giving up everything that gets in the way of those things. It means that we have no choice but to stop excusing ourselves from spending time with Him because of our “busy schedule.” Clear up your schedule or ask Him to do it for you. He will.

Our God has given us the free gift of eternal Salvation. I don’t know if we recognize this every day, but we deserve death, my friends. Our hearts are evil without Him. And yet He chose us. He chose to sacrifice His body for our beings. And all He is asking for is our time here. We get eternity. He gets this tiny bit of time we have on this earth.

Give yourself as a Living Sacrifice, Oh Christian. And through that, He will make us sanctified. He will make us Holy.

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How can you make yourself a Living Sacrifice this week? Share it in the comments below.

To continue going through Romans with us, read the following verses this week.

Romans Series Reading Plan:
Monday: Romans 11:1-10
Tuesday: Romans 11:11-24
Wednesday: Romans 11:25-36
Thursday: Romans 12:1-8
Friday: Romans 12:9-13
Saturday: Romans 12:14-21

If you are just now joining us in this study of Romans, be sure to check out the first five weeks! Week 1Week 2, Week 3Week 4, Week 5

You can either catch up with us or go at your own pace. This explanation of how to study the Bible might also be helpful. Thank you for joining. Please let me know how God has worked in your heart in the comments below.

In Christ alone,

Lauren

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