I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1 NRSV)

Ed Dobson, writing in LEADERSHIP magazine tells about a pastor from Kenya who spoke in the morning worship service at his church. The pastor pointed out that during the first thirty years of missionary efforts in Kenya, more missionaries died than the number of converts who were won. In the remote inland regions of the country, missionaries sometimes arrived with their belongings stored in coffins. They were resigned to the fact they would never make it back to the coast. In spite of the difficulties, these men and women were called to reach Kenya, so they kept at it, knowing someday their work would bear fruit. They were right. Thanks to their efforts, today 82 percent of Kenya is at least nominally Christian.

Many of the pioneer ministers who brought the Christian faith to this country faced nearly as many obstacles as did those Kenyan pastors. We are here today because of the sacrifices of others. Who are we to think that we can have vital faith without sacrificing a little bit of who we are and what we hold dear for the good of others? It's absurd. We have a responsibility for one another. If that means that we may have to make sacrifices from time to time, so be it. If it means that we have to sacrifice a little of our liberty, so that others will not be confused about our commitment to Christ, so be it. After all, Jesus made a much greater sacrifice for us.

Dear God, give me the opportunity to make a real sacrifice for you.In Jesus name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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