“Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”1

I believe that God has given us power and agency to make changes and choices for our lives, but I also sometimes feel how easy it is to get distracted with “self-help” ideologies. Designing our “best lives” and making five-year plans, for example, are positive actions, but we need to find a way to reconcile that with “giving our bodies as a living sacrifice.”

That’s a really interesting Bible verse, because it’s not just talking about our thoughts or our beliefs being presented to God, but our bodies too. That means what we are physically doing with our lives should be to His glory. The Bible calls that our “reasonable” service—so, not super amazing, not award-winning, but just your “starter package” Christianity being lived out.

When you look at following Jesus in that context, it gets real. It’s not just an ideology, but something you spend your time on, something you give yourself to. “Sacrifice” doesn’t imply that life is going to be dreary or tough, without any fun or ambition or dreams. That’s not it. True fulfillment can only be found in staying close to God and following His plan.

Here comes another year. As usual, we come into it with all the hopes, dreams, and expectations the promise of a New Year brings. But I hope you take time to think about what God needs from you. What does a “living sacrifice” look like in your life and walk with Him?

  1. Romans 12:1 NLT