Monday, September 2, 2013

Physical sacrificial gift

Romans 12:1
Colossians 3:17-24
sisters demonstrating their love
The way I serve the Lord as a married woman and mother is quite different from the way my daughter, unmarried and still a child, serves Him. And yet although the difference is good and right, we should both serve Him in the same way: with all our hearts, souls, minds and strengths (Mk 12:30). The way that complete gift to God is lived out changes as our life circumstances change, but should still be an offering of the whole person, not simply a small portion of ourselves. The spiritual sacrificial gift, which nobody else sees, is
important. But the physical living out of our love and service is just as important, for without it the spiritual will die away and without it no one will be evangelized into also giving their whole selves to the Lord.
What does that bodily sacrifice look like? For me it includes not losing my temper with my children, waking up an hour before my older daughters to have a personal prayer time and Bible study, keeping our home reasonably clean, cuddling children and husband when I'd rather sit by myself, supporting my husband's leadership of our family. For my child it includes obeying her parents, playing nicely with her sister, completing her chores with a smile. For my husband it includes working to financially support our family, leading family prayers, loving me when I'm disagreeable, clearly leading our family and teaching our children to obey both himself and me. None of these actions are glamorous; most don't seem to be directly related to our relationship with the Lord. Yet when we carry them out, day by day, as a sacrifice of love to God, they vividly strengthen our spiritual gift of love to Him. What does your bodily sacrifice to God look like?

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