A Living Sacrifice

Meditation night at NFHOP

Romans 12:1 “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.”

A living sacrifice. A daily decision to say no to the pleasure of this world. A living, breathing, moving sacrifice. Not dead and unable to be recycled, but always moving onto new assignments and impacting people/places every day. Who are we presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to? The living God. Living sacrifices before the living Father. Hallelujah.

Every day is a new day, full of mercy. A reset button is pressed in the heart of God, and we must do the same. To “die daily” to our own desires, dreams, passions. What does it look like to live daily as a living sacrifice? My life is spent in many ways, but are mainly comprised in a few groups: money, time, energy and relationships.

Help me to not only be willing, but to joyfully lay every area of my life on the altar. The joy that comes from Your presence - Your fiery love. Fire only falls on sacrifice. That we would be a living, burning sacrifice, like Jesus. Jesus will live within a glorified human body, displaying the wounds of His great sacrifice, for all eternity.

There is great joy in this sacrifice, for we are promised the exchange of God’s life for ours. “Those who lose their lives for My sake will find it.” “You will find Me if you seek Me with all of your heart.” The initial sense of loss, and fear of missing out, is soon replaced the exceeding joy of encountering His pleasure, His smile.

A holy sacrifice is purified by fire. So we will be, if we present ourselves before the Holy Flame of Love in faith and utter abandonment. Touch my heart with this seal of divine love, unlike anything this world has to offer. Overwhelm me, immerse me, capsize my life in Your love. That I have no fear, but am full of the fruit of the Spirit, leaking Jesus to everyone around me.

We get to lay every area on the altar, with no ties to this world and its fleeting pleasures. We get to exchange our life for His. The hell of this earth for the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth. We get to walk with God like Enoch, like Adam did in the Garden. Like Jesus did. We can all walk like Jesus did, who said it was His food to do the will of His Father – our Father. We get to die daily in the likeness of the Cross of Christ, with the promise of the resurrection and ascension in the likeness of Christ. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places. We get to abide in the burning heart of the Fellowship of the Trinity.

There is so much grace available to those who desire to be a living sacrifice. We don’t have to try our way to this place of dying to self; the grace of God is available to take us where we could never go in our own strength. It is His true joy to do so. He is so pleased with us. Hallelujah! Thank-you God for Your kindness to us in Christ.

Romans 5:12-20 my thoughts

Nips and tucks, Botox and fillers, plumpers and firmers – all promising solutions to entice us towards fulfilling our inherent desire for eternal life and everlasting youth!

There is nothing wrong with this desire - it’s the way the Creator made us. This desire will demand satisfaction and satisfied it will be. We are designed as eternal creatures and our souls will live forever – our choice is an eternity in love and partnership with significant purpose or an eternity in dark isolation, hopelessness and fear – we get to choose but there’s no evidence of middle ground.

When God created man, it was to be in mutual, selfless friendship with Him and to live forever in paradise. As the first human was seduced into sin, it ceased to be paradise and a place that the Holy God could dwell. Decay and ultimately death entered in. Since all sinned, death spread to all. That which was made to live eternally now succumbed to the all-consuming grave.

In passionate desire for His friends, God called out to, guided and got involved with His people as they fell foul to an increasing depravity of sinful acts. There had been no law given so sin could not be counted, death simply reigned as the natural consequence to sin.the-gift-of-faith

One man’s seduction into disobedience and self-obsessed trespass led to the condemnation for all men. The result of this one trespass, one lack of judgement, one foolish proud act, was that all perished. God’s heart was breaking. His beloved people now seduced by pride, vanity and self-fulfilment, were trapped under the power of death.

Through His friend Moses, He introduced the law to give us an understanding of sin, to enable us to measure right from wrong and to see that sin is so powerful and our flesh is so weak in the face of it, that we would need help to redeem our nature, our inheritance as friends of God, - we would need a Saviour.

The compassionate grace and desire for friendship that the Father God feels towards His creation, led Him to send His beloved Son, Jesus to earth.

Song 8:5 "...leaning on her Beloved"

"...leaning on her Beloved" This little phrase really captured my imagination this week.leaning

What does this mean? What’s this about “leaning”?

At this stage, in the Song of Solomon, the bride has matured and developed an intimate relationship with the King giving her life completely to the Him. She has “come up” victorious over many trials; she values those that He values and she is confident in love. She trusts the King and is not offended by what He chooses to do, or not do.

She understands that it is not enough to have the Spirit living within her, or simply enjoy his presence, but that He yearns to have an intimate partnership with her – interacting, interchanging and with honest dialogue. She’s fully grasped that she is His inheritance and she wants, more than anything else, to be a blessing to Him.

So, what’s with the leaning?

The use of this word is often quite derogatory, suggesting someone is incapable of managing on their own – as if that’s a bad thing, and not the very way we were designed.

Leaning “wanting and accepting – involving whole bodies, not just arms and legs like hugging” (Urban Dictionary – Google)

I like this definition – it makes it clear that leaning is not about the exchange of emotion, or sentiment that a hug is all about, but it involves the whole body, both wanting to lean and accepting the stance.

Isaiah 53:10 - God's accounting system and hearts for Jesus

knowledgeAll humans have a longing to "know". This longing has been placed within us by the uncreated God before we came into any physical being. So, it is not unnatural for us to be inquisitive about who we are, how we got here and why we are here. We have an enemy, no gentleman, who is scheming to answer those questions in a way that leads us away from God and towards self destruction. He doesn't even need to be particularly present in our lives, he just needs to sow the seeds of "self". As we look to "self" to come up with answers and blame all wrongdoing on Satan, circumstance or others, he has us ensnared, trapped.

The first 25 years of my life I searched for the answers to these questions in all the wrong places; every aspect of my identity was marginalised which, in turn, led me into trouble. For the second 25 years of my life, I sought Him out, asked Him for wisdom and revelation and enjoyed His presence. This included the "south wind" blessings of healing, deliverance, growing in the gifts of the Spirit, and the privilege of introducing the lost to Him, along with many "north wind" trials to overcome.

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This Week @ NFHOP

Sunday 19 May

10.00am: CHURCH

Living Word Church

The Nedderman Centre, Marryat Rd, New Milton BH25 5NY

Monday 20 May

10.00am – 12.00pm: PRAY

Morning Prayer Watch

7.00pm – 9.00pm: DWELL

Revelation by meditation

11 Seacroft Avenue, Barton on Sea, New Milton BH25 7NY

Wednesday 22 May

7.00pm - 9.00pm: PRAY

Evening Prayer Watch

11 Seacroft Avenue, Barton on Sea, New Milton BH25 7NY

Friday 24 May

7.00pm: SHABBAT

Shabbat meal and fellowship

11 Seacroft Avenue, Barton on Sea, New Milton BH25 7NY

Sunday 26 May

10.00am: CHURCH

Living Word Church

The Nedderman Centre, Marryat Rd, New Milton BH25 5NY