Every year at their national meeting, the Christian Medical Dental Association honors a medical missionary by bestowing their “Missionary of the Year” award. It is one of my favorite events during the meeting. They typically choose a medical missionary couple who have spent most of their professional career serving the people of some developing country. Despite the hardships, isolation, and relatively primitive medicine they are forced to practice, without fail these missionaries say the same thing each year…that it was no sacrifice but rather a blessing to them!
For me, they are a perfect illustration of what it means to be a living sacrifice for Christ. They willingly put aside the potential wealth they can attain in medicine, the comforts of living in an affluent western country, and instead travel to distant lands to serve people they don’t know, all for the love of Christ. Without fail, as these wonderful people receive this award, the love of the Lord literally shines through them as they humbly acknowledge that they never suffered and would make the same decision again without hesitation. Those who faithfully follow Christ are in turn faithfully blessed by Christ.
Fortunately, we don’t have to travel to distant countries to be a living sacrifice for God. We can do that wherever He has placed us. Being a living sacrifice is an attitude that can be developed and nurtured in whatever circumstance we find ourselves. It is an attitude that begins with the knowledge that Christ has already sacrificed His life for us. Through His sacrifice, the debt of our sins has been paid. We have been reconciled with God, adopted into His family, to spend eternity with Him. Our motivation to be a living sacrifice is God’s mercy to us.
The attitude of sacrificial living must be cultivated and developed. It doesn’t come naturally. It is an attitude to serve others through medicine, our church, or through some other means. As Paul states, this is true and proper worship.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for all you have done for me. Help me maintain the attitude of a servant so that I can be a living sacrifice for you.