Large Print

Giving like Christ

Today's Devotional

Read: Romans 12:1–3 | Bible in a Year: Daniel 5–7; 2 John 1

Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Romans 12:1

When American author O. Henry wrote his beloved 1905 Christmas story “The Gift of the Magi,” he was struggling to rebound from personal troubles. Still, he penned an inspiring story that highlights a beautiful, Christlike character trait—sacrifice. In the story, an impoverished wife sells her beautiful long hair on Christmas Eve to buy a gold pocket watch chain for her husband. As she learns later, however, her husband had sold his pocket watch to buy a set of combs for her beautiful hair.

Their greatest gift to each other? Sacrifice. From each, the gesture showed great love.

In that way, the story represents the loving gifts the magi (wise men) gave to the Christ child after His holy birth (see Matthew 2:1, 11). More than those gifts, however, the Child Jesus would grow up and one day give His life for the whole world.

In our daily lives, believers in Christ can highlight His great gift by offering to others the sacrifice of our time, treasures, and a temperament that all speak of love. As the apostle Paul wrote, “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” (Romans 12:1). There’s no better gift than sacrificing for others through Jesus’ love.

What sacrificial gift have you received from someone that showed Christ’s love? What sacrificial gift can you give to others in return?

In my daily life, dear God, may I show others Jesus by sacrificing my needs for theirs.


In Romans 11, Paul writes to the church at Rome about how the salvation available through Christ is offered to everyone: the faithful remnant of Israel (vv. 1-10) and the ingrafted branches of gentiles (vv. 11-24). And the hardened hearts of Israel will be softened so that all will embrace Jesus as Messiah (vv. 25-32). In the concluding verses (vv. 33-36), the apostle can’t help but burst into celebratory song over the wisdom, grace, and power of God.

Chapter 12 is a continuation of his reasoning. It begins with the word therefore, which is a classic literary signal that what’s coming is the result of what was said previously. Because God offers salvation to so many and because His wisdom is beyond scrutiny, those who’ve chosen Jesus should offer themselves as living sacrifices (v. 1), renew their minds so they’re not conformed to this world (v. 2), and be humble (v. 3).

By |2023-12-07T01:33:25-05:00December 7th, 2023|
Go to Top