316. Crawling off the Altar

Note from The Storyteller:  If you have not read postings prior to the one that follows, I recommend that you do so.  There is insight that may help as you walk the road toward spiritual maturity.  All of the prior postings can be found at the following website:   www.waiting4thetrain.com.  Also, please forward this email to everyone you think would be interested in and may benefit from the devotional postings.  Thank you!

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“I remember clearly,” Stan began, “one morning at a church service when I first became a Christian.  The pastor, who was a bit of a character, was talking about being a living sacrifice.”

Continuing, he said, “I didn’t really understand the notion of being a living sacrifice, but I did get the joke the pastor told.”

“What was the joke?” I asked.

“He said that his problem with being a living sacrifice was that he kept crawling off of the altar.”

“The fact I still remember what he said so long ago shows the importance of what he said.”

Continuing, Stan added, “I was in Paul’s letter to the Romans this morning in my journaling time. Where the apostle was writing about being a living sacrifice, I was reminded of what the pastor said.  In addition to that, the importance of what Paul wrote had a real impact on me.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“I think I only have the opportunity to be a living sacrifice on this side of eternity,” Stan said.  “Once I get on the train when my time here of waiting for the train is finished, at least as far as I know, I will no longer have the opportunity to be a living sacrifice.”

“Thus,” he continued, “it is vital for me to spend the time I have remaining on this side of eternity being the living sacrifice that Paul wrote about, the one that God intends.”

“I am to stay on the altar as a living sacrifice, not crawl off going whatever direction I want apart from God.  Crawling off is easy.  Staying on is more difficult and can happen only as I surrender fully to the leading of the Holy Spirit.”

“Every moment that I am not who and what God intended by His salvation and conversion, and  every moment I am not who and what He intends through His sanctification and transformation, I am missing important opportunities to serve Him as a living sacrifice.”

“Isn’t being a living sacrifice what the Christian life is supposed to be all about?” I asked.

“It is, my friend,” Stan replied.  “Indeed it is.”

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I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  Romans 12:1.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, that you want me to be a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to you.  Thank you, too, that you provide the Holy Spirit living in me to guide me in being that sacrifice.  Please forgive all of the times I have, in essence, crawled off of the altar refusing to be the sacrifice you intend.  Please, Lord, open me to see all you expect me to be and to do as yours on this side of eternity while I wait to join you in eternity when my time here is finished.  I want only to be yours and to be a living sacrifice for you.  You want the same thing.  Please, Lord, move in me so it happens.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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