Romans 12:1-2 tells us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. This is our spiritual act of worship. Unfortunately, we don’t do sacrifices well. Sacrifices are painful. They hurt. We would rather avoid them.
Many of our volunteer efforts are not sacrificial. We serve when it is convenient. We don’t go too much out of our way. When we do serve, it is often done to make us feel good about ourselves. In the end, it is about serving ourselves.
We typically serve when the cost is low and the reward is high. What if we reversed that? What if we served when the cost is high and the reward is low? What if we served at a time that was not convenient and did not get recognized for what we did? What if we served just for the sake of serving, with no strings attached? What if we served with no intention, but to honor God?
When was the last time there was a real cost to your serving? Maybe it was sacrificing an event on our calendar. Maybe it was a financial sacrifice where you had to forego a purchase you hoped to make. Maybe it was sacrificing ambition in your career to devote yourself to others. A lot of us will set aside God for our priorities. When was the last time you set aside your priorities for God?
Of course, we recognize that such sacrificial service will never be motivated out of guilt. It is motivated through the gospel. It is motivated through the cross of Christ and the salvation he won. It is the Holy Spirit working on our hearts to recognize that Jesus is of surpassing worth compared to whatever we might sacrifice.
Here is your challenge. Do something unexpected for another person without expecting anything in return. Do it with joy as if serving the Lord. And know that your reward is that Jesus is glorified through you.