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.
Gone are the days when people sacrificed animals on their behalf. Jesus became the once and for all sacrifice on the cross. Our hearts are now the altars, and our whole life the sacrifice.
2 Corinthians 6:17
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
Do not be conformed to this world,
It is easy to compromise when surrounded by things considered acceptable by worldly standards. That is why as Christians, we are called to be holy. Holiness does not mean perfection. To be holy means to be set apart, to be different. A Christian struggling to fit into the world is like forcing a square peg into a round hole. ‘Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?’
But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.”
Don’t be surprised when the people you most expect to support you don’t. Familiarity breeds contempt, and unfortunately, the people who are closest to you may sometimes take you for granted. It’s human nature, which even Jesus was not spared from experiencing.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
1 Timothy 6:8
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content
We don’t need too many things to be happy. If we are honest, we would realize what we presently have, are things we once wished for. Sometimes, we tend to look to materialistic gains to know we are blessed. Because of that we wonder why the Lord is our Shepherd and yet we still want. But if we count our blessings, we will realize that we do have what we need and want.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Great people of God seek to know Him personally, mediocre people of God seek always for God to do something, without longing for a personal relationship with Him. It’s not right to expect God to do miracles when we don’t seek to know who He really is. God is a person, and nobody likes to be used. Let us learn from the great people of God.
2 Corinthians 12:10
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
These days, the strength of a Christian is usually measured by wealth, charisma, how put-together one’s life is.
Yet “What’s the point of living if I’m living for myself”?(Lecrae). Our weaknesses glorify the God we serve. Even Jesus was not glorified until after He endured suffering on the cross. As CS Lewis put it, “if you’re looking for a religion to make you happy, I certainly do not recommend Christianity”; there are lots of other ways to be happy.
The road is too narrow to be comfortable. However, He never promised that the journey would be easy. He did promise that His grace is sufficient for us.
2 Corinthians 12:7-8
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
There are some things that may seem unfortunate in our lives. We want them to go away so bad, but can’t seem to do anything about it. Sometimes, they are there to humble us in life, keep us in check, and remind us that we cannot control everything.