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A Living Sacrifice: The Real Issue by Dr. Charles Stanley

Do you want to get everything you can from the fast before it’s over? Do you want to seize the time and squeeze all the good you can from it? Have you asked God not to let you miss anything He has for you on the fast—not anything He wants to say to you while your ear is sensitive to His voice … not anything He wants you to pray while you’ve drawn so near to His throne? Do you want no sin left unexposed, unconfessed, not put under the blood of Jesus and forgiven?

If this is how you feel, then I encourage you to listen to this message from Dr. Charles Stanley.

It came on the radio when I was driving home last night, and boy did God have a word in it for me. Dr. Stanley asks some questions we must hear before we exit this season of fasting. 

I include some of the questions in the summary below the sermon. But I encourage you to listen to the sermon. It’s powerful! 

The Real Issue

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2, NKJV).

What does God mean when He says that you present your bodies a living sacrifice? He means:

  • death to self
  • death to sin
  • death to the world
  • death to temptation

It is through death that we find life. It is through giving that receive. The whole philosophy of Jesus is a life of contradiction to the ways of the world because the devil is the god of this age. We’re to present ourselves a living sacrifice and live dead every day.

Some Christians go through life wondering why there is no victory. There is no victory because…the Christian life was never given for human capacity. It was given to us for the Lord Jesus Christ to live His life through us.

The Way to Total Victory Is Total Presentation of Self

Paul said I beseech you therefore, brethren, that you present your body, that is your total being—one time—to Him as a living sacrifice.

If I present myself, my total being to Him, here’s what that means: I’ve got to look at myself real good. I’ve got to examine my motives. I’ve got check out my attitude toward money or toward relationships. I’ve got to look to see if there is any greed, any pride, any arrogance. I’ve got to see if there is any hidden bitterness or resentment. I’ve got to be willing for Jesus Christ to expose my life to me to the point that I am willing to to say, “Lord having looked at the whole spectrum of my life…having looked at it from the beginning to the end—every relationship I have with someone else, my attitudes toward business, or money, or finances—as I look at the total spectrum, Lord, yes indeed, I am willing to say that I walk the cross life. I am willing to live dead every day to my rights….

I must be willing to give up my rights. I must be willing to be crucified—my desires, my ambitions, my goals, nailed to the cross and surrendered to Him.

He says not present your arm, or your eye, or your foot—present  your whole being to Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice. That means I put it on the altar of the cross, and I back off from it, and then whatever God wants to do with my life, I forsake all my right to claim any personal right for God to do anything with my life.

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ today is filled with people who have made partial commitments.

Making A Complete Commitment

Are you willing to live dead to this world and be available to Jesus regardless of where it may carry you or what it requires of you?

Have you ever told God that you’re willing for Him to nail every single right that you have to the tree? Are you willing to live dead every day knowing that Jesus Christ will meet every single need that you have—He’ll provide every single thing that you need in His time and His way?

Have you told God He can have an arm, leg—so many big parts of your life—but the equivalent of your little fingernail, you’ve withheld? Have you justified withholding some part of your life from Him?

Have you told God, “I want you to bless my family, bless my career, bless my walk with You…” while withholding something back from Him? He won’t accept your sacrifice. He said present your body—body, soul, spirit—your total being.

Are you dedicating certain things, confessing certain sins… but not presenting your all to Him? Are you willing to be baptized, willing to join the church, willing to tithe or even give 20 or 30 percent, willing to serve Him… but you’re not willing to die?

When you’re willing to let Him nail you to the tree, God will meet every single need that you have!

Have you ever come to the place where you say, “God, I die to every right that I have in order that you may have your perfect will in my life whatever that means”?

Are you willing for God to drive the biggest spike He’s got right through your self? … Are you willing for Him to nail your pride there? Nail your ambitions there? Nail your desires there? Nail your wishes and wants there?

Finding What You Desire in Life

This is the only way you’re going to find what you’re looking for in life. Until you do that, you’ll never be able to be used by God to the maximum.

What is there in your life right now that you’re holding on to, that when you get down to prayer and you really get serious with God, God brings that thing up in your life? It’s something that God has brought up many times.

What have you been unwilling to give up your right to? You have no rights on the cross.

Do you really and truly want God’s best in your life? Then you’ve got to tell God that you want Him to nail everything about you to the cross.

What is it that you’re holding on to that you’re not willing to give up, which is going to cheat you out of God’s best—cheat you, deprive you, deny you out of being the person you want to be and God wants you to be?

A Moment of Worship: Living Sacrifice

Living Sacrifice by Tommy Walker

Questions:

  • Are you willing to live dead to this world and be available to Jesus regardless of where it may carry you or what it may require of you?
  •  Will you prayerfully and thoroughly look at yourself today? Will let the Holy Spirit examine your motives, your attitude toward money or toward relationships? Will you let Him show you if there is any greed, any pride, any arrogance, any hidden bitterness or resentment? Will you let God show you the whole spectrum of your life from the beginning to the end and bring you to the place of saying, “I am willing to live dead every day to my rights”?
  • Have you told God He can have an arm, leg—so many big parts of your life—but the equivalent of your little fingernail you’ve withheld, telling Him that it’s insignificant compared to a more prominent part like your brain? Have you justified withholding some part of your life from Him? 
  • Have you told God, “I want you to bless my family, bless my career, bless my walk with You…” while withholding something back from Him?
  • Are you dedicating certain things, confessing certain sins… but not presenting your all to Him? Are you willing to be baptized, willing to join the church, willing to tithe or even give 20 or 30 percent—but you’re not willing to die to self?
  • What is there in your life right now that you’re holding on to? What is it that God keeps bringing up to you in prayer again and again—but you have not been willing to let go of it? 
  • Are you going to forsake that last thing you’ve held on to in order to live the life that God has provided for you? Being unwilling to let go of that last little thing is going to cheat you out of God’s best.
  • Can you truly say, “God, I die to every right that I have in order that you may have your perfect will in my life whatever that means”? Or are you claiming certain “rights”? You have no rights on the cross.
  • Do you really and truly want God’s best in your life? Then tell God that you want Him to nail everything about you to the cross.

 

FASTING DAY 20 FROM THE ARCHIVES

 


 

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