Posts Tagged ‘Genesis 2:25’

The sacrifice God desires: A living sacrifice

October 30, 2015

Romans_12-1The Verse of the Day for October 29, 2015 is taken from Romans 12:1 in the Amplified Bible:

[ Dedicated Service ] Therefore 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.

Bible scholar E.W. Bullinger points out that the first time that a particular word is used in the Bible marks its significance and importance when studying the word. Such is the case with the word “worship” which is first mention in the account where Abraham prepares to take his son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah in Genesis 22:5 (Amplified Bible):

Abraham said to his servants, “Settle down and stay here with the donkey; the young man and I will go over there and worship [God], and we will come back to you.”

We are familiar with what occurs when the voice of the Lord speaks and intervenes, sparing Isaac’s life. This first usage of worship indicates that God does not desire human sacrifices. The Psalmist declares that God does not delight in sacrifice, that He is not pleased with burnt offering, but that He delights in sacrifices of righteousness (Psalm 51)

When we think of worship we recall the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. In a discussion about the place of worship, the Lord spoke these words:

John 4:23-25 (NKJV):

God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth:

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

One expression of worship involves our offering praise and thanksgiving unto God, that is the “sacrifice of praise . . . the fruit of our lips,” whereby we declare that He is worthy of our worship and adoration. The Alleluia Singers offer an illustration of this kind of worship in “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise.”

Another expression of worship involves doing or serving, as we follow God’s command and make a sacrifice to do His will, to serve Him alone. We recognize that to obey God is better than to sacrifice our lives in the same way that animals are sacrificed. God desires that each believers offer his or her life as a living sacrifice. In the closing stanza of “Stone upon Stone: A Psalm of Remembrance,” I describe twelve stones, representing milestones or accomplishments from my life over the years. In closing, I symbolically build an altar from these twelve stones and offer myself as an offering, echoing the words Romans 12:1

El–stone upon stone–Bethel–I build this altar.

In the center of this altar burns fire, white-hot

as the cloven tongues appearing at Pentecost,

a flaming fire, refueled by the oil of blessing,

this unction, anointing, ignited by the spark,

tabernacled in me twenty-six years ago;

consuming desire, empowered by the spirit,

seeking to forge with words, this joy unspeakable.

Enflamed with a new name and transformed to offer

all I am and all I ever hope to be

a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable,

a lively stone, known, read by all with eyes to see.

So I return to teach the meaning of these stones.

 El–stone upon stone I build this altar–Beth-el

A musical illustration of Romans 12:1 is “Take My Life—A Living Sacrifice”  by Chris Christian

The Verse of the Day reminds us of our “reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” Listen to the Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics:

Because He is not ashamed, I am not ashamed

July 17, 2015

Romans 1_16In Romans 1:16 (NLT) we find the Verse of the Day for July 17, 2015:

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

This particular verse brought to mind a journal entry made over ten years ago where I examined a number of scriptures under the heading: “No More Shame!” According to Biblestudytools.com, the Arabic word for shame, disgrace, or dishonor is said to be ayb, translated as a dirty garment to be cast off by every effort. Indeed, shame is often associated with filthy garments. . . In the vernacular, we speak of “a lowdown dirty shame.” This concept related to soiled garments being removed is illustrated in Zechariah 3:3-4:

Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”

God speaks words of comfort to Israel through Isaiah, the prophet, who proclaims: Isaiah 54:4-5

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

The expression “not ashamed” is used distinctively in the Scriptures, beginning with its first usage in Genesis. In reflecting upon that place, we are “yearning to return to Eden, to get back to the Garden” . . . the place of innocence, the first place where there was no shame: Genesis 2:25

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

A number of references come from the Psalms regarding having no shame: Psalm 119:6

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

Psalm 34:5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. Psalm 31:1

In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

Psalm 119:116

Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

In the New Testament, a number of references also speak of having “no shame”: Hebrews 2:11 also reveals a similar attitude that Christ has toward those who call upon his name:

For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Hebrews 11:16 reminds us of God’s favorable attitude toward those who believe in Him:

But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Romans 5:5 makes a connection between having “no shame” and the hope of salvation:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto

Philippians 1:20 goes on to say:

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Regarding our hope that abides in our expectation of the Lord’s return, I John 2:28 encourages:

And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Most believers are quite familiar with Romans 10:9-10 which relate to salvation through confessing the Lord Jesus as Savior and believing that God raised him from the dead, but we sometimes forget the following verse: Romans 10:11 (KJV)

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed.

This verse and all the above related scriptures reinforce the message of the Verse of the Day. The lyrics from the contemporary gospel song “I am not ashamed of the Gospel” echo those same sentiments, recorded here by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir: