A Million Little Decisions

ellen-mar-2016

Have you ever had to sacrifice something that was important to you? Perhaps you gave up something for Lent, like chocolate or Facebook. How about something a little more poignant, like sacrificing your own dreams for the dreams of someone else, or the ultimate sacrifice of one person giving his or her life for another?

The Bible talks about sacrifices, too. In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts Christians to “offer [their] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is [their] spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1b-2). The thing about most sacrifices is that they die or are lost when they are sacrificed, but Paul says that we should be living sacrifices.

I once heard someone say that the thing about living sacrifices is that they tend to crawl off the table. Isn’t that the truth? I have seen it countless times, in the lives of the Emmaus men and in my own life: we make a commitment to follow the way of Christ but not long after, something comes along and lures us off the sacrificial table.

“Victor” is constantly battling an addiction. He abuses alcohol, then comes to the Ministry Center and expresses his guilt and his desire to get back on track and back in line with God. The next time we see him, something has usually tempted him back into using, and the cycle starts over again.

Because God has gifted us with the freedom of choice, sacrificing is something that we have to continually recommit to. It’s not a one-time decision; it’s a million little decisions to stay on the sacrificial altar, close to God, no matter the cost.

If it was only up to us and our own power, it would be impossible to be disciplined enough to continually sacrifice ourselves to the cause of Christ. Thankfully, God did not leave us without tools in our quest to be living sacrifices. He gave us his Holy Spirit to guide, convict, and strengthen our spirits so that we can choose each day to get back on the altar and give everything to the God who sacrificed his Son for us.

I know that I certainly have room to grow in this area; crawling off the table happens to be one of my specialties. However, even after the Lenten season, I am partnering with the Holy Spirit to join my daily sacrifice with that of Christ on the cross. I hope that you will join me in praying the same thing for the men of Emmaus.

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Emmaus Ministries
4201 N Troy St
Chicago IL 60618

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Wheaton IL 60187-0431

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