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Whole Life or Term?

policy.jpgRomans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

If you are going to buy life insurance tomorrow, two terms would be presented to you immediately—-whole life or term.

Whole life: You buy coverage for your whole life at the same monthly premium. It matures when you reach 100. It’s not a good idea, from an insurance point of view, to own this type of policy.

Term life: You buy coverage for a certain time period, usually one year. The cost is very low because all you are buying is insurance. The younger you are, the cheaper it is to buy this kind of policy.

So, I’m not really interested in the insurance meanings of the words here.
There is a far greater question that must be answered.
Are you truly making a sacrifice of your whole life to God?
Or are you giving God a term policy—-a limited commitment?

Your whole life consists of not just your time or money, but of your identity, your loves and affections, your values and judgments, your future and potential.  It speaks to career, job, home and possessions. It speaks to marriage, husband, wife, children and relationships. It speaks to dreams, ambitions and plans.

A term commitment means that you will do what you are doing for right now. As long as it works for you, as long as it gives you pleasure, as long as it remains convenient, as long as nothing else seems more attractive, you will stay with it.

Term commitment means that God is always up for sale…that you will always compare him and his word with competing forces…that you will first and foremost ask the question, “What’s in it for me?”

But God demands nothing less than an entire forfeiture of your life to him for him to use, to spend, to consume as he wishes.
The Old Testament system of sacrifices constituted the main way God dealt with the sins of the Israelites.


Scripture Terms. The following terms are used to express the sacrificial act:

1. Something given; a gift (Gen 32:13,18,20-21; 43:11; etc.); tribute (2 Sam 8:2,6; 2 Kings 17:4); an offering to God (1 Chron 16:29; Isa 1:13), spoken especially of a bloodless offering (Heb. minha; see Meat Offering, below).

2. Something brought near, an offering as a symbol of communion or covenant between man and God (Heb. qorban).

3. A bloody sacrifice (Heb. zebah from zabah, “to stay”), in which the shedding of blood is the essential idea. Thus it is opposed to minha (Ps 40:6) and to `ola, the whole burnt offering (Ex 10:25; 18:12; etc.).

4. Whole burnt offering (Heb. `ola), that which is completely consumed by fire (Lev 1:3).

Origin. The beginnings of sacrifice are found in the primitive ages of man and among all the nations of antiquity.

Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God (Gen 4:3-4)

Noah expressed his gratitude for deliverance from the Flood by presenting burnt offerings unto the Lord (8:20).

The patriarchs built altars and offered sacrifices on them, calling upon God at the places where He had revealed Himself to them (12:7; 13:4; 26:25; 31:54; 33:20; 35:7; 46:1). “Indeed, to sacrifice seems as natural to man as to pray; the one indicates what he feels about himself, the other what he feels about God. The one means a felt need of propitiation, the other a felt sense of dependence” (Edersheim, The Temple, p. 81).

Fundamental Idea.

The fundamental idea of sacrifices. They are spontaneous expressions of reverence and gratitude that man feels toward God.
There was also the thought of securing a continuance of God’s favor and mercy.

  • Propitiation
  • Substitution
  • Offering of a life.


5. Law of the Burnt Offering (`olah): At the setting-up of the tabernacle burnt and meal offerings were sacrificed (Ex 40:29). The law of the burnt offering is found in Lev 1. Common altars and customary burnt offerings needed no minute regulations, but this ritual was intended primarily for the priest, and was taught to the people as needed. They were for the statutory individual and national offering upon the “horned” altar before the sanctuary. Already the daily burnt offerings of the priests had been provided for (Ex 29:38-42). The burnt offering is here called qorban, “oblation.”

  • (1) The ritual for the offerer (Lev 1:3-17).-This may have been from the herd or flock or fowls, brought to the tent of meeting; hands were laid (heavily) upon its head designating it as the offerer’s substitute, it was killed, flayed and cut in pieces. If of the flock, it was to be killed on the north side of the altar; if a fowl, the priest must kill it.
  • (2) The ritual for the priest (Lev 1:3-17).-If a bullock or of the flock, the priest was to sprinkle the blood round about the altar, put on the fire, lay the wood and pieces of the carcase, wash the inwards, legs, etc., and burn it all as a sweet savor to God. If a fowl, he must wring the neck, drain out the blood on the side of the altar, cast the crop, filth, etc., among the ashes, rend the wings without dividing the bird and burn the carcass on the altar.
  • (3) General laws for the priest.-The burnt offering must be continued every morning and every evening (Ex 29:38 f; Num 28:3-8).

Yet, even as the system of sacrifices was practiced in Israel, there was a feeling that the devotion of the sacrifice went beyond the victimized animal on the altar.

  • Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
  • Heb 10:5-7 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

There was an even greater thought—-instead of living to dead, we are to go from dead to living.

Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Whole Life or Term: Commitment Levels. Whatever happened to unwavering faithfulness? The most powerful churches got that way by leading people to wholly commit their lives to God. Term contracts with God, or tentative, limited discipleship, weakens the church’s integrity. God’s church of today needs a huge infusion of sold out saints. The first church grew through absolute discipleship. So will today’s church.

Shadrach, Meshech, Abednego

Dan 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

The Apostle Paul

Acts 20:24-38 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. 37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, 38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

Stories from 9-11. “America’s Heroes”

I am issuing a call for commitment.

Whole life commitment.
Commitment that never looks back.
Commitment that never second guesses.
Commitment that says I started out to go to heaven.

I will climb every mountain.
I will ford every stream.
I will endure every hardship.
I will survive every valley.
I will walk on through loneliness and despair, success and defeat, pain and discouragement.

I am going to make it.
I give my whole life to God.

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