Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Title: A living sacrifice
By: Dr. Hew Fen Lee
Rom 12:1 “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.”
Sacrifices were offered to God in the temple under the Mosaic law to atone for sins of individuals and even for the whole nation. When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the temple was torn into 2 to expose the most sacred part of the temple that represents the presence of God. This is NOT to allow us to see how the priests offer sacrifices to God for our sins. It is so that each of us can approach God personally as Jesus has become the ultimate sacrifice to enable us to come face to face with the Holy God, our father in heaven. No more sacrifice of dead animals is needed for our sins ever again.
Paul here appealed to us, having received God’s mercy of our assured salvation, we are to present our bodies as living sacrifice not that it is needed as an atonement for our sins, which is superfluous, but as a worship. A worship that represents our thankfulness and praise for God’s mercy. Jesus said we are to love God unreservedly and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Luke 10:27). This was also the occasion when Jesus told us the parable of the good Samaritan.
The pandemic has left many of us with heartaches and sufferings. The loss of loved ones and the economic suffering that has not only affected us and those in our neighbourhood but also in the whole of Malaysia and in fact the whole world.
Our faith in our God to love God unreservedly will serve as an anchor in the face of storm, a solid foundation in a hurricane. The torn curtain in the temple reveals to us the assured hope. A living sacrifice for our God should point others to the same God that has abundant mercy and grace, and the assured hope only Christ can give. Not only we are to point out the hope, we are to dispense hope in actively reaching out to those around us, not only our brothers and sisters in the church (John 13:34-35) but also like the Samaritan reaching out to a total stranger. We are asked to do the same: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, nurse the wound and more – bringing hope to those who cannot see a future.
The Covid Aid Initiative from PBC as well as many church members reaching out to those who require help in the present crisis is one of the ways to fulfil the calling of our Lord. This is a worship to our God.
Dear Father in heaven, make us thankful people for your grace. We thank you that you are watching over us even when we are battered and thrown about by the ravages of the Covid pandemic. The storm is severe and relentless but we will not lose hope in your ability to calm this storm. Strengthen us oh God and make us mindful of the needs around us so that we may be the salt and the light, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to you. In Jesus’s name we plead.
这场大流行病给我们许多人留下了伤心和痛苦。失去亲人和经济困苦不单只影响到我们和我们周边的人，而且影响到整个马来西亚，事实上，全球都受到了影响。我们对上帝毫无保留地爱祂的信心，将成为我们面对风暴的锚，在飓风里坚固的根基。在圣殿里裂开的幔子对我们显露了坚定的盼望。向我们的上帝献上活祭，应会将其他人引向同一位上帝，这位有丰盛的怜悯和恩典、以及只有基督才能赐给我们可靠盼望的上帝。我们不只是要指出盼望，也要积极地向我们周围的人传递盼望；不仅是限于教会里的弟兄姐妹(约翰福音13:34-35)，而且要像好撒玛利亚人向一个陌生人伸出援手。我们被吩咐作同样的事情：喂饱饥饿的人、给赤身露体的人穿上衣服、护理伤口等等 – 把希望带给那些看不到未来的人。