PRESENT YOUR BODY
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Rom. 12:1.
God has never made it a habit to use things THAT DO NOT BELONG TO HIM. He uses those things which are yielded to him. Things that are CONSECRATED. THINGS THAT ARE SANCTIFIED -- SET APART FOR HIS USE. Do you want God to USE YOU? Then you must PRESENT YOUR BODY. It must be completely yielded and surrendered to God. A body that is not completely yielded and surrendered to God is still more or less domineered by satan, or by self.
Many no doubt have, at special times, after a fashion, presented their bodies to the Lord for his use in stretching forth the borders of his Kingdom. But it is obvious from the fact that they are not being used, that many of those who have presented themselves have NOT BEEN ACCEPTED.
God has not refused them because laborers are not needed. Christ himself gave us the command to pray that more laborers would be sent forth because "THE HARVEST TRULY IS PLENTEOUS, BUT THE LABORERS ARE FEW." Matt. 9:37.
God has not refused them because of their handicaps, for he has often used those who seemed to have little natural qualification. Peter and John, men greatly used of God, were "unlearned and ignorant men" Acts 4:13. Moses was "slow of speech." "Not many wise men after the flesh, not many noble, are called; BUT GOD HATH CHOSEN the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and things which are despised --." I Cor. 1:27, 28. You think you are handicapped? All are handicapped in some way.
A young man was saved, and desired to give his testimony in a street meeting that others might know the matchless grace of God, but he could not give his testimony because of his stammering. Yet his love for God, and his desire to work for God drove him to his knees, and out again before the people. God heard his cry and helped him. He became a great preacher of the gospel and for many years was annually the chief speaker at a large camp meeting in New York.
To be an acceptable sacrifice, your body need not be strong nor beautiful. David Brainard, great missionary to the American Indians in the early days, was declared to be dying of tuberculosis. He was warned that the only chance for him to live more than a few weeks was complete rest. But he brought what he had and made an acceptable sacrifice. He fell on his face before God, crying, "Give me souls or take my soul!" Then he rose up and went out to many years of fruitful ministry among the people God had laid upon his heart, and won thousands of them to Christ.
The only reason God has refused some is that THEY ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE!
God makes just two requirements for an "acceptable sacrifice".
It must be HOLY. And it must be HIS.
That which is not holy is an abomination to God. A sacrifice brought in and offered to God for his service, which is defiled by the habits and sins of the world is no more acceptable to him than the pig offered upon the sacred altar of the temple at Jerusalem by Antiochuc Epiphanes. IT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
That which is HIS must be his not only on Sunday and on prayer meeting night, but seven days and nights EVERY WEEK. It must be presented with NO STRINGS ATTACHED. It must be given with the heart cry, "I renounce all authority over this gift, now and forever. It is yours to use, to set aside, or to destroy. Whatever you choose to do with it, it is yours. If it is only a hidden ministry of prayer and personal testimony -- YES, LORD. If it is in my own home town, that is all right. If it takes me far across the sea, to strange lands and unfriendly peoples -- if it is to die for my faith, at the hands of persecutors, or to live under conditions that are worse than death -- still this body is yours. Do with it as you please. Feed it or starve it. Chill it in the far North, or let it suffer with the heat of Africa. Exalt it or humiliate it. It is all yours."
Acceptable consecration is like handing God a blank paper, with your name signed at the bottom, and saying, "Fill it in any way you want. That shall be my contract for the use of my entire life."
This sacrifice is not complete with merely saying yes or no to certain callings or requests of the spirit of God AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN. It is the whole hearted determination to do the will of God ALL MY LIFE, no matter what it may be, nor what it may cost. It is the realization that "Ye are not your own."
You may find a small measure of power, and a small measure of blessing, when you have made a small measure of sacrifice. But if you would really experience the free flow of GOD'S MIRACLE WORKING POWER, you MUST present your body, a living sacrifice, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD.
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