Lent Devotions Day 15: “Embody the Sacrifice”

“Embody the Sacrifice”

by Isaac Watson, ATS Graduate Intern

 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” - Romans 12:1

 

Jim Elliot was born in 1927 and raised in a Christian family. Elliot felt called to minister to those living in the jungles of Ecuador who had not yet heard about Jesus. After graduating from college and getting married to longtime friend and college classmate, Elisabeth Howard, Elliot and his team moved to the jungle. They made connections with the Quechua tribe and things seemed to be going well. However, out of fear, a member of the tribe spread lies about the team’s intentions. This resulted in their attacking and killing a portion of the team, including Jim, in 1956; he died at the age of 29.

Jim Elliot accepted Christ at a very young age. In high school he would always be found carrying around a small Bible and speaking about Christ to his classmates. He went to Wheaton College with the intention of devoting himself to God’s calling in his life. Elliot worked to understand and put into practice this matter of living sacrificially, allowing God to take control.

Living sacrificially is only accomplished through God! As his followers we are challenged to live in the world, but not conform to it. Instead, through faith, we must allow our minds to be transformed and renewed daily so that we can hear and be guided by God. Through this continual transformation we learn how to love and honor people. We become obedient to God’s commands and live above reproach. And we become opposed to what is not of Christ, all the while fervently praising God and allowing him to speak through our words and actions.

We offer up our bodies in worship and overcome evil with good today as we use our gifts, wait through afflictions, faithfully pray, share with God’s people in need, practice hospitality, and bless those who persecute us.

God used Jim Elliot’s living sacrifice to continue his work and overcome evil after Elliot’s own death. Jim’s wife Elisabeth and daughter Valerie (born just months before Jim died) stayed in the place of killing. Even though the Quechua tribe had murdered their husband/father, Elisabeth and Valerie put their faith to work and presented themselves to the tribe as living and loving sacrifices, extending forgiveness, offering friendship, and telling the story of the sacrifice of the Son of God. That story had already come alive in their midst through Jim’s sacrifice, lived on through the care and commitment of Elisabeth and Valerie, and was about to spread with creative fire. The Quechua tribe all came to know Jesus and to begin a journey of transforming relationship with God, including the man who was responsible for killing Jim Elliot!

 

What now? 

Lets Use this time to meditate, reflect, focus and pray that God deepen our faith and trust in Him, so that we might better understand how we can best reflect Christ in our own lives. Allowing Christ to change us from the inside out, sacrificing our fleshly desires for that of our heavenly Father’s.

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