Read Romans 12:3-8
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather
think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with
the measure of faith God has given you.
Digging Deeper: If at all possible, it’s best not to think of yourself at all. I think that is what the Biblical writers had in mind when they spoke of the virtue of humility, which is not so much thinking less of yourself (both quantitatively as well as qualitatively), but the freedom from thinking about yourself altogether.
However, if you must think of yourself, Paul says to do so with “sober judgment”. And if you do that with the measure of faith you’ve been given, then rather than having a high estimation of yourself, you’ll have an accurate picture of what you are: A living sacrifice. (Romans 12:1)
Think about that—a living sacrifice. An Old Testament sacrifice had to die in order to offer pleasing worship to God, but when Jesus came along, he became the final sacrifice called upon to die. Old Testament sacrifices are no longer required by God; New Covenant sacrifices are now what bring pleasing worship to God, and those offerings are called upon to live.
Of course, as a living sacrifice, we must first die to ourselves—our flesh, our own selfish desires and our false estimation of who we are and what we should be. But our real call is to live—to live in view of God’s mercy (Romans 12:1), to live for him and through him and to him his glory (Romans 11:36), and to live to fulfill the purpose for which he has gifted you (Romans 12:4-8). And that great purpose for which you have been gifted is specifically spelled out in this section of verses: It is to live and serve and function and contribute to the family of God in which you have now been placed.
Yes, you have been called to die to yourself—and that is a daily (and difficult) exercise in self-mortification. But your highest calling is now to live unto God—to live as a living sacrifice. Do you see yourself as a living sacrifice? That is truly what “sober judgment” will produce. If that is not fundamentally how you see your role in life, then you need to sober up!
Let me give you a challenge this week: Forget about yourself! Practice being absent minded when it comes to you. Get you out of your thoughts and replace them with plans for offering yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.
Sober up and crawl back up on the alter of sacrifice—and for Christ’s sake, stay there!
“The only problem with a living sacrifice is that it wants to crawl off the altar.”
This Week’s Assignment:
Read: Romans 12:1-21
Memorize: Romans 12:1-2
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
For Your Consideration: Stop at the very first word of chapter 12: “Therefore”. Whenever you come to a “therefore” in your Bible reading, you ought to ask yourself, “what is it there for?” What Paul goes on to say in these first two verses comprises what is arguably the most important duty of all true Christ-followers: The offering of our everyday lives to God as our only and reasonable act of worship. “Therefore” …what is the basis of this call to Christian duty? (Hint: Go back to Romans 11:36.)