Dr. Ed Young - Becoming a Living Sacrifice
What if you decided you wanted to give something to God? What if you decided, "I want to give God something"? What could God use? What does God need? What does God want? You talk about somebody's got everything? Ehhh, somebody's got it all? That's God... What if you decided to give something to Him. What, what in the world does He want? What could He use? What does He need? He's got everything... But there's one thing that would be the gift that He desires, only one thing, and that's you. Heh-heh! That's you. That's the only thing He wants, the only thing He can use, the only thing He needs is you, and you, and you, and you, and me. That's the only thing we can give Him. That's what He wants. That's what He needs. That's what He'll use...
So we say, "He wants all of me"? You know, we were kids, we were fighting, we'd say, "You want a piece of me"? You know... We say, we got through singing, "I surrender all..." Most of us, "Oh, I was just singing. This is church. You know, 'I surrender all...' It's old hymn..." We'd sing, we shoulda sang, "I surrender part..." "I surrender some... I surrender most..." Naw. He says we're to surrender all. So how, how do we give ourself to Him? He said, "Present your body", your body. "Whoah... the body is a part of this"? Oh yeah...
You see, Christianity is a very physical faith. It's very, very physical. Ah, the other religions of the world, and primarily the eastern religions, even the Greek and Greek philosophers and the Romans, they had the idea the body didn't make any difference about the body. I mean, this body just something... It was the spirit. It was get outside the body, get above the body. The body is not anything, but Christianity came and emphasized the body. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the flesh... So Paul says what God wants us to present our bodies to Him, our bodies to Him. That's the first thing we do. We decide to give something to God, you start with your body. Say, "I want to give it all... I want to give most. Sometimes, maybe-I'm gonna hold a little contingency back here, you know, you know I might..." But he says you give your body as a living sacrifice.
Now we know the word "sacrifice" involves death, right? We know the sacrificial system the Jews had. We know in pagan religions, they go make sacrifices of animals, and goats, and sometimes human sacrifice in order to honor God, to make atonement for their sin, or to get leadership from God. We know the sacrificial system that was there... The, the Jews would bring a, a, a lamb, or a goat and they would kill it and bleed it and put it on the altar, and they would, it would slide off the altar sometime. They were burning that which was left, and they had those flesh hooks, and they'd, the grease, and they would take it and put it back on the altar until it was consumed, and they felt the smoke from that sacrifice would go up to God, and it would be a sniff, sniff, sniff, a sweet fragrance to Him, and that it was making atonement, the shed blood for their sin.
We know that. But now Paul takes this to a whole new genre, a whole new understand... He said, "We're to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, as a living killing". Heh, heh, heh! That's different, isn't it? Whoah! What's he talk... A living killing. In other words, if we're to present our bodies, there's to be a death involved. That's why the word "sacrifice" is used. What is the death? You decide I want to give God, I want to give God my body. I want to be a living killing. What do we have to kill? What is that we sacrifice? What's He asking us to sacrifice? The biggest, toughest thing you and I have to sacrifice. That is what has to die. That's what we have to kill. He'll help us kill it. What is it? It's the idea that, "I want to run my life. I want to call the shots. I want to make all the decisions..." That's what we have to kill.
Remember the rich young ruler? He came to Jesus. Jesus was gathering all His followers at that time. He was calling people, "Follow Me". And here's this young man, rich man? Man, he comes running to Jesus. He falls down before Jesus. He said, "Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life"? And Jesus said, "Hey-keep all the commandments," and He dealt with the commandments that are moral. He dealt with the commandments that are horizontal, see? Horizontal commandments. And that young man said, "I have not broken a single one of the moral commandments..." The Bible says Jesus loved him. He said, "Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life"? He said, "Go and sell everything you have and follow Me".
Whoah! He was dedicated to fortune and fame and power and pleasure. He was-he had it all! Man, look, look what he had. He ran to Jesus-had the right attitude, didn't he? He fell before His face. Man! That's the place to begin with Jesus. He asked the right question. He was young. He was affluent. He was popular. He was moral. He was ethical. He had every... Isn't that the kind of person you'd like to have on your team? Honestly! You wanna change the world? Man, I want a guy like that! Oh absolutely! He could make a difference... But the problem was, he said, "Master..." He had to give up his other masters before he could be a master and mastered by the Master, see? That's the difference. Doesn't mean we all have to sell everything.
Some may... Whatever is mastering your life, the agenda of your life, my life-the audience we play to, those we want to approve, if there's anything other than the Master, Jesus Christ, we can't really submit our bodies, see? Can't submit our bodies... A living killing. Kill my goals, my desires; your goals, your desires. And then, a living killing. Then we present a sacrifice to Him. It is a "holy" sacrifice. You know, we don't like the word "holy". It doesn't fit in, heh, heh, you know, uh, holy. No, no, no. We don't like that word, "holy". What does it mean? It's a set apart. It's an exclusive thing. We're holy, we're set apart. We're a living sacrifice, a living killing that has been set apart, and it is acceptable-who? To God. To God. It's acceptable to Him.
What does it take to be acceptable to Him when we present our bodies? Malachi, great story. Here's a shepherd, and he looks around and says, "You know, I want to give God something. I want God to know how much I love Him, and oh! Look at that sheep! That lamb! Whewww! She is prize! That's the prize sheep in all of my flock! I mean-oh, ho! Man, the genetics there... Man, all the sons and daughters that lamb will have! I mean, look at the wool, look at-whhooo! There's a prize! That, that's a very valuable, valuable lamb that I have there. I think I'm gonna take that and sacrifice it to God. I want to give God something to be acceptable to Him, the best that I... Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute. There, there's a lamb over there looks pretty good... I mean, you know, it's just pretty, pretty, pretty attractive lamb..."
Nobody knows except the shepherd which lamb is really the best lamb, you know? Subjective... I know, but you wouldn't know. "I'm gonna give to the Lord, I wanna give Him, I want to give Him this first-team lamb and, you know, that's a pretty good looking lamb... ohh-hoo-here, here's a second team lamb over here. Oh man, that may be better. I'm gonna give this second team over here. Nobody really will know. Well maybe some will that's in the sheep business, but not everybody. That's a pretty valuable lamb... Oh, oh-there's a third teamer over there... OOwww, that's a-oh, look at that pitiful lamb over there limping, crippled, man, and that lamb's not gonna be long, never have any more fleece. He's outta... I think I'll kill that lamb in a hurry and take that, and bleed it and take it up there, and nobody'll know it's not.... Whewww-my prize lamb..."
See, these other lambs aren't gonna be acceptable. Remember John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God"! The best God had was His Son, Jesus Christ. "Behold the Lamb of God"! That was the sacrifice, and that was acceptable, and that covers up your sin and my sin, doesn't it? So, when we present our bodies a living sacrifice, a living killing of our goals and our desires, we become His; it is holy. It is set apart, and it is acceptable by God, because it's from the depth of our being, and it's all that we have and all that we'll ever be. That's the first thing God wants! Present our body. Present your body.
And then, look at the second stanza, and they belong together. One compliments the other. It says, "Renew your mind..." Renew your mind. How in the world do you renew your mind? Well, the Bible teaches us very clearly. It says, "Do not be conformed to the world". Hhm... Conformed means to be shaped. It's, it's like hands taking something, uh, a sculpturist, and you shape something. We, we get conformed to the world. Let me tell you something: You just live in this world, the world will shape you. Absolutely, it will shape you, and you'll wake up one day prayerfully and hopefully saying, "How in the world did I get in this mess"? I hear this all the, "How in the world did this happen to me? I never would have thought..." and usually, it's someone who's been caught up in the agenda of the world and say, "You know, I was just at this bar, and I was just having a drink, and we were laughing, and all of a sudden... how did this happen to me? Whoooo..."
See? See? See? Ladies and gentlemen, I could go to the happy hour every day for a month, and I would come back at you, and you wouldn't recognize me. Say, "What happened to him"? Oh, I just went to that happy hour! And I wouldn't even have to drink. You see, the world will take us in its agenda and mold us and shape us and put us, and we'll wake up and say, "Whoo, I don't know. I just happened... I really..." You see, that's-we're not to be conformed to this world if we're gonna have our minds renewed. You just can't do it. That's the step. Have your mind renewed; be not conformed. It says, "Be ye transformed..."
Now that's a big word. Be ye transformed, transformation. And that's a big operative word in these two Verses, transformation. And the word here is, we get our word "metamorphosis". Uh, you're in the third grade. The teacher stands up and says, "See this little bowl here, these tadpoles swimming around in circles? See those tadpoles"? "Oh, yeah, yeah..." "Did you know those tadpoles are gonna end up being frogs"? And in the third grade, if you'd never heard of this, and you say, "'Oh, I can't bel...'"
Some of you may not have known that even here... uh, so, said, "Oh, I cannot believe that tadpole would be a frog..." But there's a metamorphosis. Did you know that a tadpole...? A tadpole is herbivorous? Lives on plants? Did you know that? Herbivorous? Plants? But when a tadpole goes through a metamorphosis, a transformation, becomes a frog, a frog is carnivorous, bugs, meat. Ha! The same DNA! The tadpole has the same DNA as the frog, but suddenly, there is a transformation. There's a metamorphosis! This is what happens to us in Christ Jesus when we present our bodies, He renews our minds, and suddenly we think differently. There is a metamorphosis. And by the way, the phrase "renewal of your mind"....
How many of you received your education primarily before the 1960's? Would you lift your hand with mine? I barely made it... You received your education primarily before 1960, would you lift your hand? A few... Now all of us in this category, you know what you were taught in your science classes? You were taught that the mind is permanently formed at birth, first month or maybe a year of life, and then your mind is pshew! There forever. That's what you were taught. And the scientists said your mind cannot be changed; it is formed... and it's true, we have all the neutrons we'll ever have-neutrons we'll ever have, but your mind is permanently formed. That's what everybody was taught. Scientists dogmatically said that. Guess what today? They talk about mind mapping. They talk about how minds are renewed all the time. There is brain damage, and the synapse comes, and all of a sudden, there is a new mind-mapping, and there's an old pathway that's been there, and now there is a new pathway that can come.
And so, scientists are about to catch up with the Bible! Oh! Your mind is set! Oh no! Paul said, "Renew"! Absolutely, they know it today! Renew your mind. There's new pathways there, a new map in your mind. I was profane, and now suddenly, man, there's a new pathway. I don't cuss anymore. I was greedy, and there's a new pathway that's been formed, a renewal of our mind by Christ and us, and, and I was addicted, and there's a renewal of our mind, and this is what happens. We're not conformed; we're transformed. There's this metamorphosis and our mind is renewed! We don't think as we used to think. We don't operate as we used to operate. We, our whole agenda, it becomes His. This is what God wants from you and me, a surrender of our body and a renewal of our mind. The way it happens, we're not conformed to the agenda of the world. We are transformed. There's a metamorphosis that takes place.
Now, you think the tadpole and the frog are something; tell you something: The caterpillar and the butterfly is even a greater story of metamorphosis. Now listen carefully-listen carefully-listen carefully: Here's a caterpillar. Caterpillar, a big caterpillar usually has about 16 little legs. Hot asphalt, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da-whew, whew! Da, da, da, da, da, da, da... Here comes a Monarch butterfly flying out. Shwewww! Oh, da, da, da-oh, oh-good! I could never be that! Oh, ho-da, da, da, da... 16 little legs on hot asphalt! Da, da, da, da, da, da..... But you know, that caterpillar goes up into a tree, and maybe gets on a limb, and something happens and about 2 weeks period of time, there is this cocoon is made, a chrysalis. And that caterpillar inside that chrysalis, many zoologists now believe, zoologists now believe that that caterpillar actually dies. You didn't know that. You didn't know that. It actually dies.
And they, they've x-rayed it, said there's this goo in there. No sign of life. Caterpillar. Chrysalis, cocoon. Dies. There's just goo in there. No life. But in a period of time, life comes back, and that is that metamorphosis, and all of a sudden, you have a butterfly. But there is a death. Interesting-the DNA of the caterpillar is the same as the butterfly, though there's been a death and by a scientist's word-not a believer, said a resurrection. All of a sudden, in the metamorphosis we have when we present our bodies and our minds are renewed; we're not conformed, we're transformed; that is the metamorphosis. Then all of a sudden, we can jump, and we can fly in Jesus Christ! Then the results is even better. It gets richer! Do you see the rest of Verse Number 2? It says, "Then you can prove the will of God".
What does it mean to prove something? In, in math, you have proofs, don't you? Say, "This, this is right". You have proofs. It verifies it. To prove something is to ascertain it. It's to nail it down. It's to know it's absolutely true. You can prove something and say it is irrevocable. It is on target. He says, "We prove the will of God". When we surrender our body and we let Him begin to renew our mind and we cooperate by not conforming, by knowing we are in a process of metamorphosis-we are transformed and we have those new minds that are being created; new routes that are being created and a new mind map that's taking place in you and me, guess what? We prove the will, the plan of God.
You say, "Well I don't know about this, you know, I was just... I surrender some..." No, no, no. How about surrendering all? We prove the plan of God, and we discover it's good. It is absolutely good! You can put it in the bank! It'll work. It'll make your life come alive-it's good! Then it says it's acceptable. It's acceptable. It's good inside... When I was about, oh, 12 or 13 years old, I went to-had lunch with a friend of mine. His mother served us some pudding, that dark, dark, strong chocolate pudding. I'd never had any before, and I ate it, and whoo! I felt sick at my stomach, and today, you could give me some of that pudding, and I'd be sick just like I was when I was 12 or 13.
You see, it didn't agree with me. You know stuff like that? Paul is saying, "Listen-when you surrender your body, you let the Holy Spirit begin to re, renew your mind and remap your mind, make new pathways, you'll be walking in the will of God. You'll discover it's good. It's acceptable. It agrees with you! It agrees with you..." Just like a tadpole to a frog has a new appetite. Not plants, herbivorous, but not carnivorous! That's a whole new transformation. And then all of a sudden, there is a frog that can jump many times, twenty times in, it's length. That's a big jump! And a whole new appetite! Now it's bugs-it's not plants. You have the same thing-here we have with a, with a caterpillar. A caterpillar all of a sudden is a beautiful butterfly! No more-shoo-shoo-shoo-shoo, hot feet! A butterfly, soaring! That's what happens.
And we walk, we fly in the will of God. We jump in the will of God. It's good. It's acceptable. It is perfect! Perfect... "Oh, I don't know about that being perfect..." What does that mean? Jo Beth... uh, eh, she's the best in the world at packing a dishwasher you've ever seen in your life, and she's got her idea about how to do it. Man, I would go in there, and I'll put a cup in, "No, the cup needs to go over there", and I put the spoon, "No, the spoon goes over there", and she's got her idea. Both times I've tried, it, and, and in my wife's sister, Kathy, said she can fill a dishwasher, she can double up what anybody else can. She knows how-she's got her way. Her way is perfect, perfectic, is, perfectionistic, and this is what we do.
When we have presented our bodies and He's renewing our minds, my hand is over here and the Holy Spirit says, "Oh no. Your hand ought to be over here..." You know, I'm thinking over there, "Oh no, no, no, no. I want your thinking-you've got new mind mapping now. That's not where you go anymore..." You see? Uh, take every thought captive... And then I'm walking, "Oh, no, no, don't walk there... You walk..." See, He begins to guide because we've presented our bodies. He's renewing our mind. There's new grooves there. Those addictions, tho, those things that we're compelled, the attitude we have, the anger, the bitter, all this...
He's renewing our mind. He's redeeming us because that's what Christ does. He transforms us from the inside out. I'm gonna give you... I read this. Somebody did this in a child, uh, a children's thing, and I said, "That's the gimmickiest thing I've ever seen in my life! I can't bel..." but I remembered it. You take a tube of toothpaste, and you-it's conformed from the outside, isn't it? You can shape it. I'm sort of a bad guy, I mash the middle. I know you're supposed to do the end, I... but it, it's conformed by how you mash it, right? It's outside.
That's the way a lot of us, we let the world shape our agenda outside. Sad. But then there's another way, inside. Transformation comes from within, and it's like what will transform this balloon? It's simply... ...from the inside, isn't it? See a difference? This balloon is shaped from the inside; not from the outside. Here, the toothpaste is shaped from the outside and not from the inside. Huh? That's what, that's what God-that's very simple. That's what God says for us to do. That's what God says for us to do. That's the way it works. Here, Keith, uh, you'll need that... Now, now, listen. What does God want from you and me? What, what, what can we give God? One thing: You, and you, and you. How do we do it? It's so basic. Surrender our body. Kill that desire to run your own life and let it live in obedience to Him. Make it holy. Make it acceptable.