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The New Year: Sacrifice

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. Romans 12:1 (Amplified)

As 2018 fades, our thoughts turn to what we resolve to accomplish in the freshness of the new year. We make promises to ourselves and others with earnest sincerity.  Within the first few months, however, our resolutions weaken, and we give up.  In Bible times, resolutions were called vows or pledges and they were serious matters to undertake. Your word was your promise that you would fulfill it.

During the advent season I wrote about a young woman who made the choice to walk God’s way, though she did not fully understand what was happening to her.  Mary believed and obeyed.  She gave birth to God’s promise of the Messiah.  Now it is time to look at another young woman who lived years before Mary, another unlikely vessel that God chooses to be part of the lineage of Christ.  Did Ruth understand her place in God’s plan for Israel when she made a pledge to her mother-in-law? Not at the time. But she was determined to do it out of deep love.  Her devotion opened other doors that she could not have foreseen as a girl in Moab. For the next few weeks I will be writing about her pledge and what it meant for her life. She sacrificed herself when she left her homeland behind.  She died to the lifestyle she’d grown up with in order to serve a God she couldn’t see. 

To complete His plans for us, we must give up the life we’ve chosen in order to live His. That will mean sacrifice, the surrender of body, soul, and spirit.  What better resolution to make than to yield my life to Him?  His plans for me will not fail.

I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 (Amplified)

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