A Living Sacrifice

January is rose pruning time. I spent part of an afternoon learning the basics of rose pruning. One principle is you can’t kill a rose. Another one is that there is no absolute right or wrong. way to prune.

I was dealing with some very over grown, chopped at roses. I doubt if any cost much, but they did have some pretty roses. We did some drastic cutting.  Dead wood, broken branches, cross-over canes and suckers had to go. The bush had to be opened up for good air flow; shaped for a pleasing appearance; and healthy wood to produce roses.

This lady wasn’t one of the worst, but did look neglected.

John 15:-1-2  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

My pruning was a work of faith. Open, now to fresh air and sunshine healthy wood, and it is still alive.

John 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Lots of brush was burned this day, and some were the rose prunings.

This burning wasn’t left unattended, but carefully watched.

When I first looked out at this fire pit filled with burning brush, I thought of the prayers as a sweet incense before God. Then I pondered what was being burned – trash.—that which was good for anything.

What does God want from me , a living sacrifice, a daily offering to God. If I find I’m being heard or seen instead of Jesus, then I must be pruned until the image of Christ can be seen

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1Corinthians 3:12-13

Verse 16 of Psalms 116 is often  read during the memorial service of one who has served the Lord faithfully. As I read this Psalm it seemed like the verse was stuck in the middle of a description of what I needed to do daily in service for the Lord. I wondered isn’t  it precious in the Lord sight when I die out to myself and become more like his image; when I pay my vows; when I am God’s servant; when I offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. So when I present myself a living sacrifice, the prunings burning are a sweet smelling savor before my Father.

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.                 Psalms 116:12-19

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment