â€œI 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.â€ (Romans 12.1 ESV)
In one of my favorite movies, Sergeant York, the main character, Alvin York moves from an inglorious past into being a war hero.Â He was rough and liked to fight, not wanting to be told what he could do or what he could not do.Â He was not dependable, even though he was a hard worker.Â At one point during the movie Alvin is nearly struck by lightning and at that time gives his life to Christ.Â It is a moving scene when he walks into the church soaking wet from the storm and goes to the altar as the congregation sings â€œOld Time Religion.â€Â From this point in the movie Alvin becomes conscientious and tries to live by what the Bible teaches.Â He becomes a living sacrifice.
As Alvin is drafted into the Army, he struggles with the task put before him. He does not want to kill other people.Â However, his convictions change a bit and he ends up winning a battle almost single-handedly.Â When he is praised as being a hero Alvin basically says he was doing what he was supposed to do.Â He was not killing other people; he was protecting those soldiers he was with.Â
In todayâ€™s Scripture, we see that we are called to be a living sacrifice; it is our â€œspiritual worshipâ€ or, better yet, our â€œreasonable service.â€ (KJV) So when we do something for God, when we sacrifice or donate or go on a mission trip- or even give our lives, it is what we should be doing as Christians.Â So, if we went to God and said, â€œLord I did this and that and those things for youâ€¦â€ He could legitimately say, â€œWhat do you want, a medal?â€Â We owe it to God to live our lives for Him and not ourselves.