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Monday, January 30, 2017

Rebuilding

As we start this Last Week of January before we head into the 2nd month of the New Year take a moment to reflect just on this month alone with these words of wisdom. Read: Nehemiah 2:11–18 Bible in a Year: Exodus 23–24; Matthew 20:1–16 Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.—Nehemiah 2:17 When Edward Klee returned to Berlin after being away for many years, the city he remembered and loved was no longer there. It had changed dramatically, and so had he. Writing in Hemispheres magazine, Klee said, “Returning to a city you once loved tends to be a hit-or-miss proposition . . . . It can be a letdown.” Going back to the places of our past may produce a feeling of sorrow and loss. We are not the same person we were then, nor is the place that was so significant in our lives exactly as it was. Nehemiah had been in exile from the land of Israel for many years when he learned of the desperate plight of his people and the devastation in the city of Jerusalem. He received permission from Artaxerxes, the Persian king, to return and rebuild the walls. After a night reconnaissance to examine the situation (Neh. 2:13-15), Nehemiah told the inhabitants of the city, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (v. 17). Nehemiah did not return to reminisce but to rebuild. It’s a powerful lesson for us as we consider the damaged parts of our past that need repair. It is our faith in Christ and His power that enables us to look ahead, move forward, and rebuild. —David McCasland Thank You, Lord, for the work You are doing in us and through us. We cannot change the past, but God is changing us for the future.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Unseen Heroes

We have come to the end of the fourth week of the New Year with just a couple of day left in the month of January before we head into the 2nd month of the New Year which is February BUT before we get ahead of ourselves let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Exodus 17:8–15 Bible in a Year: Exodus 16–18; Matthew 18:1–20 Aaron and Hur held [Moses’s] hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.—Exodus 17:12 Stories in the Bible can make us stop and wonder. For instance, when Moses led God’s people into the Promised Land and the Amalekites attacked, how did he know to go to the top of the hill and hold up God’s staff? (Ex. 17:8-15). We aren’t told, but we learn that when Moses raised his hands, the Israelites would win the battle, and when he lowered them, the Amalekites would win. When Moses got tired, his brother Aaron and another man, Hur, held up Moses’s arms so the Israelites could triumph. We aren’t told much about Hur, but he played a crucial role at this point in Israel’s history. This reminds us that unseen heroes matter, that supporters and those who encourage leaders play a key and often overlooked role. Leaders may be the ones mentioned in the history books or lauded on social media, but the quiet, faithful witness of those who serve in other ways is not overlooked by the Lord. He sees the person who intercedes daily in prayer for friends and family. He sees the woman who puts away the chairs each Sunday in church. He sees the neighbor who reaches out with a word of encouragement. God is using us, even if our task feels insignificant. And may we notice and thank any unseen heroes who help us. —Amy Boucher Pye Dear Father, thank You for creating me and gifting me in my own unique way. Help me to serve You and others faithfully and to appreciate those You have sent to help me. Unseen heroes are always seen by God. INSIGHT: In Exodus 17, it’s interesting that the task of holding Moses’s hands in the air did not fall only to Moses. Moses needed Aaron and Hur’s aid. It seems that the need for help is part of the point of the story. The entire army and the nation of Israel itself were depending on him. If he had failed—and on his own, this was virtually a guarantee—Israel would have lost the battle and many people would have died. Perhaps the dramatic moment when Moses realized his need for help prepared him for applying this lesson to his life. The leadership of the nation was too much responsibility for him alone. He needed help (see Exodus 18). The battle with the Amalekites reminds us of the reality that we do not, cannot, and need not stand alone. J.R. Hudberg

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We Can Accomplish Great Things in 2017

Starting the New Year OFF! With our CCFA Newsletter Letter from our President & CEO I hope 2017 is off to a wonderful start for you! Thank you so much to everyone who donated to our holiday match. I am pleased to report that, because of you, we raised over $500,000 to support research this holiday season! 2017 is going to be a big year for us—you will see many exciting advancements at the Foundation, and we can’t wait to share them with you. Because of your contributions, we will be able to move the needle on finding new and better treatments for Crohn’s and colitis, support new patient education programs, and much more. We would also like to thank both the returning and new members of our President’s Corporate Circle for their dedicated support of our mission: AbbVie; Allergan Plc; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical, Inc.; Celgene Corporation; Genentech, Inc.; Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Immune Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Janssen Biotech, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; Medtronic Plc; NestlĂ© Health Sciences; Pfizer, Inc.; Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.; RedHill Biopharma Ltd.; Salix Pharmaceuticals; Sandoz, Inc.; Shire Plc; Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.; and UCB, Inc. I am incredibly excited for the year to come, with all of you as my partners in achieving our mission of a future free of Crohn’s and colitis. Together, we can accomplish great things on behalf of the 1.6 million Americans living with IBD. Thank you again, Michael Osso President & CEO Discover a Stronger YOU at the Finish line! Team Challenge is excited to announce our new destinations and 2017 race lineup! Whether you’re a beginner or elite athlete, with our help, you can complete a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon, Cycle event, Triathlon, or IRONMAN. Take the first step toward your 2017 goals—join the Team Challenge Family and help us find IBD cures. CLICK HERE to learn more and speak with a local manager. • April 9 Paris Marathon – Paris, France • April 30 Big Sur International Marathon – Monterey, California • July 9 Saratoga Springs Half Marathon – Saratoga Springs, New York • July 16 Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half & 5k – Napa, California • July 30 Goleta Beach Triathlon – Santa Barbara, California • Aug 5 IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 – Boulder, Colorado • Sept 10 IRONMAN Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin • Sept 24 IRONMAN Chattanooga – Chattanooga, Tennessee • Sept 24 Berlin Marathon – Berlin, Germany • Oct 22 IRONMAN Arizona 70.3 – Tempe, Arizona • Nov 5 New York Marathon – New York, New York *More events will be announced! Click here to learn more and be the first to hear new race announcements. LEARN MORE ► Send a "Welcome to Congress" Letter The 115th Congress has started, and brand new and veteran legislators have convened in Washington, D.C. to consider important health policy items. Now is the time to send your legislators a "Welcome to Congress" letter that explains IBD, as well as CCFA's policy priorities for 2017 related to healthcare reform and IBD medical research funding. It's a great way to get a head start on building relationships with your legislators and educating them about IBD and your experiences. Click here to email your legislators a pre-written letter—all you have to do is add your story! TELL YOUR STORY ► Learning, Playing, and Healing at Camp Oasis Dealing with IBD as a child can be extremely challenging. That’s why CCFA proudly established Camp Oasis over a decade ago. This co-ed residential summer camp program enriches the lives of children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis by providing them with a safe and supportive camp community. Our camps allow patients to see that they are not alone, try all sorts of new sports and activities, and create friendships with people who truly understand them. Applications to attend Camp Oasis go live this month. Please visit our website for more information and to find a camp location nearest you! READ MORE ► Support CCFA Today Help us raise awareness about IBD, advocate on behalf of patients, continue our cure-focused research, and more. Winner Winner! Congratulations to our Apple Smartwatch winner—Sarah Weiss from the Cleveland Take Steps walk! Will you join Sarah and walk for cures in 2017? Learn more at www.cctakesteps.org. LEARN MORE ► Scholarships for IBD Patients Preparing for college can be an exciting, yet costly, time. Scholarships for IBD patients can help defray these costs. While CCFA does not directly offer scholarships, you can find information about various opportunities here and here—or reach out to our IBD Help Center for additional information at info@ccfa.org. LEARN MORE ► Colorectal Cancer Risk and Prevention Check out our webcast on colorectal cancer to learn more about risk factors for developing colorectal cancer in patients with IBD, and procedures that can help detect precancerous cells. You’ll also learn ways to reduce your risk. LEARN MORE ► Don’t Miss Our Facebook Live Chat! Join us on January 26th from 1:30-2 p.m. EST for a Facebook live video chat with CCFA President & CEO Michael Osso to hear what we have planned for 2017. The chat will take place on our Facebook timeline—and you can submit your questions ahead of time to socialmedia@ccfa.org. LEARN MORE ► CCFA provides a comprehensive database of studies, clinical trials, and other research opportunities on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Use our search tool to access listings for current and upcoming opportunities to participate in. Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the drug development process and a participant's role. 7​33 Th​ird Av​en​ue, Sui​te 51​0, Ne​w Y​ork,​ N​Y 10​01​7 www.ccfa.org | 8​00-​93​2-​2​423 Talk with an I​BD Info​rmation Specialist at 88​8.M​y.Gu​t.P​ain | 8​88-​69​4-8​87​2 Unsubscribe or update your email preferences

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Father's Personal Mission

It's the start of a New Year and I am going to continue to bring inspirational story of those diagnose with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis so here is a story to KICK OFF 2017 Awareness of A Father's Personal Mission When you ask Dr. Robert Reiss what he is most proud of, he will respond with stories of his three children. This everlasting love for his children is what motivates him to lace up his sneakers each and every year to walk with Take Steps. Two of his children – David and Erica – have been living with Crohn’s disease since age 11. Dr. Reiss was first involved with Take Steps before it was an actual walk. At the onset, he participated in a run at UCLA before it officially organized into Take Steps. He walks with one goal in mind – to find a cure for David and Erica, and everyone else suffering from IBD. Both David and Erica have benefited from advancements in medication developed in part due to research funded by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Dr Reiss recalls one emotional memory from Take Steps involving his grandson, Owen. “One of my favorite memories from Take Steps was walking with my grandson. Actually, Owen was in a stroller at that time being pushed by my son, David with his wife. I was so pleased David was doing well and feeling healthy. He was on medication that was serving him well, medication that wasn’t even available when he was diagnosed in 1994. That medication is now available due to research funded in part by CCFA. I know that my fundraising makes a difference, because I see it playing out every single day.” Dr. Reiss has made it a personal mission to continue fundraising. In 2016, his team raised more than $50,000 benefiting Take Steps and CCFA research programs (the highest fundraising spring 2016 team!) and since he started walking, his team has raised more than $213,000. His advice for fundraising like a champion? “Ask everyone for money. You never know who will be generous and open. Take it personally. When someone is quick to ask for my help, yet doesn’t respond when I ask for their help, I make a call. We’re all in this together.” Dr. Reiss now has two grandsons, Owen and Charlie. “I will continue to work hard to help CCFA fund the cures needed for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) so Owen and Charlie and the billions of children throughout the world will not have to suffer like David and Erica did. No 11 year old deserves that fate. I’m grateful David and Erica are doing well, I want to make sure things stay that way.” Dr. Reiss participates in the Los Angeles Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis walk. Join him in LA or find a walk event in your local community.

Lack Nothing

We are in the fourth week of the New Year and as we head into this New Week let's take a moment to meditate on these words of wisdom Read: Mark 6:7–12 Bible in a Year: Exodus 7–8; Matthew 15:1–20 God is able to bless you abundantly, so that . . . you will abound in every good work.—2 Corinthians 9:8 Imagine going on a trip without luggage. No basic necessities. No change of clothing. No money or credit cards. Sounds both unwise and terrifying, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what Jesus told His twelve disciples to do when He sent them out on their first mission to preach and heal. “Take nothing for the journey except a staff,” said Jesus. “No bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt” (Mark 6:8-9). Yet later on when Jesus was preparing them for their work after He was gone, He told His disciples, “If you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36). So, what’s the point here? It’s about trusting God to supply. When Jesus referred back to that first trip, He asked the disciples, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” And they answered, “Nothing” (v. 35). The disciples had everything they needed to carry out what God had called them to do. He was able to supply them with the power to do His work (Mark 6:7). Do we trust God to supply our needs? Are we also taking personal responsibility and planning? Let’s have faith that He will give us what we need to carry out His work. —Poh Fang Chia You are good, Lord, and all You do is good. Help us in our endeavors to pray and to plan and to trust You. God’s will done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission INSIGHT: We have a wonderful example of a believer in the early church who hosted and supported the workers the apostle John sent out to spread the gospel. Although these visiting itinerant teachers were strangers to him, Gaius provided a place for them to stay, gave them food to eat, and supported their ministry. Commending Gaius for his hospitality and generosity, John wrote, “You are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you” (3 John 1:5-6 nlt). We can trust God to supply what we need to serve where He has called us. And we can be partners with others as they teach the truth by praying and providing for them financially and practically. Sim Kay Tee

Friday, January 20, 2017

Breath of Life

As we are wrapping up the third week of the New Year we have made it to FRIDAY! YES! with these words of wisdom to help us reflect over this week that just past with Read: Genesis 2:4–8 Bible in a Year: Genesis 49–50; Matthew 13:31–58 Then the Lord God . . . breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.—Genesis 2:7 On a cold and frosty morning, as my daughter and I walked to school, we enjoyed seeing our breath turn to vapor. We giggled at the various steamy clouds we could each produce. I received the moment as a gift, reveling in being with her and being alive. Our breath, which is usually invisible, was seen in the cold air, and it made me think about the Source of our breath and life—the Lord our Creator. For He who formed Adam out of the dust of the ground, giving him the breath of life, also gives life to us and to every living creature (Gen. 2:7). All things come from Him—even our very breath, which we inhale without even thinking about. We may be tempted, living with today’s conveniences and technology, to forget our beginnings and that God is the one who gives us life. But when we pause to remember that God is our Creator, we can build an attitude of thankfulness into our daily routines. We can ask Him for help and acknowledge the gift of life with humble, thankful hearts. May our gratitude spill out and touch others, so that they also may give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness. —Amy Boucher Pye Dear heavenly Father, what an awesome and powerful God You are! You created life by Your very breath. We praise You and stand in awe of You. Thank You for Your creation. Give thanks to God, our Creator, who gives us the breath of life. INSIGHT: Who hasn’t found themselves taking the unexplainable mysteries of life for granted? Who doesn’t obsess from time to time over what we don’t have, rather than treasuring the breath of life given to us by an all-wise God who has chosen to share His life and joy with us? According to the great story of the Bible, that’s why our Creator breathed His own life into a handful of earth. He wants to share His eternal existence, His love, His joy with us. That’s why He came to our rescue and offers us a restored relationship with Him through Jesus Christ—a life of forgiveness and hope. Mart DeHaan

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Valley of Blessing

As we prepare to start the Third week of the New Year with these words of wisdom let's take these words to heart and apply them to our lives Read: 2 Chronicles 20:1,13–22 Bible in a Year: Genesis 39–40; Matthew 11 If calamity comes . . . [we] will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us.—2 Chronicles 20:9 French artist Henri Matisse felt his work in the last years of his life best represented him. During that time he experimented with a new style, creating colorful, large-scale pictures with paper instead of paint. He decorated the walls of his room with these bright images. This was important to him because he had been diagnosed with cancer and was often confined to his bed. Becoming ill, losing a job, or enduring heartbreak are examples of what some call “being in the valley,” where dread overshadows everything else. The people of Judah experienced this when they heard an invading army was approaching (2 Chron. 20:2-3). Their king prayed, “If calamity comes . . . [we] will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us” (v. 9). God responded, “Go out to face [your enemies] tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you” (v. 17). When Judah’s army arrived at the battlefield, their enemies had already destroyed each other. God’s people spent three days collecting the abandoned equipment, clothing, and valuables. Before leaving, they assembled to praise God and named the place “The Valley of Berakah,” which means “blessing.” God walks with us through the lowest points in our lives. He can make it possible to discover blessings in the valleys. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt Dear God, help me not to be afraid when I encounter difficulty. Help me to believe that Your goodness and love will follow me. Looking for hope in the middle of difficult circumstances? Read Hope: Choosing Faith Instead of Fear at discoveryseries.org/q0733. God is the master of turning burdens into blessings.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Remember When

Another week is coming to an end it's FRIDAY! as we prepare our selves to head into the weekend let take a moment to reflect on the second week of the New Year before we head off into the third week of the New Year with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 126 Bible in a Year: Genesis 31–32; Matthew 9:18–38 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.—Psalm 126:3 Our son wrestled with drug addiction for seven years, and during that time my wife and I experienced many difficult days. As we prayed and waited for his recovery, we learned to celebrate small victories. If nothing bad happened in a twenty-four-hour period, we would tell each other, “Today was a good day.” That short sentence became a reminder to be thankful for God’s help with the smallest things. Tucked away in Psalm 126:3 is an even better reminder of God’s tender mercies and what they ultimately mean for us: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” What a great verse to take to heart as we remember Jesus’s compassion for us at the cross! The difficulties of any given day cannot change the truth that come what may, our Lord has already shown us unfathomable kindness, and “his love endures forever” (Ps. 136:1). When we have lived through a difficult circumstance and discovered that God was faithful, keeping that in mind helps greatly the next time life’s waters turn rough. We may not know how God will get us through our circumstances, but His kindness to us in the past helps us trust that He will. —James Banks Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end, our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend. Robert Grant When we cannot see God’s hand, we can trust His heart. INSIGHT: Psalm 126 is a song of happiness on the other side of a broken heart. It celebrates the return of Jewish citizens to Jerusalem after seventy years of Babylonian exile. These lyrics are in striking contrast to Psalm 137 that recalls the tears of their years of captivity: “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion” (v. 1). Does either one of these two songs resonate with you today? Can you remember days when there seemed to be no way forward, until the sun of God’s provision dawned? Maybe the emotions of that moment can be seen in the joy of Psalm 126. Is there ever not a time to remember the God who is with us—to be trusted in our waiting and thanked in song when circumstances seem to shout of His goodness? Mart DeHaan

Monday, January 9, 2017

Old Yet New

Here we are beginning a New Week with these words of wisdom Read: Revelation 21:1–5 Bible in a Year: Genesis 23–24; Matthew 7 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new.”—Revelation 21:5 In 2014, a sinkhole opened up under the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, swallowing eight vintage, irreplaceable Chevrolet Corvette sports cars. The automobiles were severely damaged—some beyond repair. One car in particular received a lot of attention. The one-millionth Corvette, which rolled off the assembly line in 1992, was the most valuable in the collection. What happened to that gem after it was pulled from the sinkhole is fascinating. Experts restored the car to mint condition, mainly by using and repairing its original parts. Although this little beauty was in horrible shape, it now looks as good as it did the day it was built. The old and damaged was made new. This is a great reminder of what God has in store for believers in Jesus. In Revelation 21:1, John spoke of seeing “a new heaven and a new earth.” Many biblical scholars see this “new” earth as a renovated earth, for their study of the word new here reveals that it means “fresh” or “restored” after the decay of the old has been wiped away. God will renovate what is corrupt on this earth and provide a fresh, yet familiar place where believers will live with Him. What an amazing truth to contemplate: a new, refreshed, familiar, and beautiful earth. Imagine the majesty of God’s handiwork! —Dave Branon Lord, we thank You for this beautiful world we live in—but at the same time we anticipate greatly the new world You have in store for us. We praise You for Your love for us, revealed in Your amazing plans for our future. Our Creator God makes everything new. INSIGHT: Those who have undergone a rebirth individually through believing in Christ (John 3:3-5; Titus 3:5) will participate in the future universal makeover of this planet (Matt. 19:28; Acts 3:21). Revelation 21:1-5 refers to three new items—“a new heaven and a new earth,” plus “the new Jerusalem” (v. 2). Christians can be part of that new world as “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). A significant part of Revelation 21:1-5 involves an interlacing of previously announced truths and texts from the Old Testament. Isaiah 48:6 forecasted “new things,” which Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22 expand to “new heavens and a new earth.” What are you especially looking forward to being made new? Jim Townsend

Friday, January 6, 2017

Someone to Celebrate

We have made it to the end of the week in this New Year as we take a moment to reflect on the New Year let's reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Matthew 2:1–12 Bible in a Year: Genesis 16–17; Matthew 5:27–48 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.—Psalm 95:6 Many manger scenes depict the wise men, or magi, visiting Jesus in Bethlehem at the same time as the shepherds. But according to the gospel of Matthew, the only place in Scripture where their story is found, the magi showed up later. Jesus was no longer in the manger in a stable at the inn, but in a house. Matthew 2:11 tells us, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Realizing that the magi’s visit happened later than we may think provides a helpful reminder as we begin a new year. Jesus is always worthy of worship. When the holidays are past and we head back to life’s everyday routines, we still have Someone to celebrate. Jesus Christ is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23), in every season. He has promised to be with us “always” (28:20). Because He is always with us, we can worship Him in our hearts every day and trust that He will show Himself faithful in the years to come. Just as the magi sought Him, may we seek Him too and worship Him wherever we are. —James Banks Lord Jesus, just as the magi sought You and bowed before You as the coming King, help me to yield my will to You and to follow where You lead. When we find Christ we offer our worship. INSIGHT: The magi were considered wise, not because they were people of great learning but because they searched for Jesus and—having found Him—they worshiped Him as God. That’s what wise people do. The wise are those who fear God and worship Him! Sim Kay Tee

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Perfect Gift

So here we are we have step over into a NEW YEAR! I want to wish everyone a HAPPY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR! Welcome to 2017! Let's get ready to embrace ALL that God has for us in 2017. As we start the New Year let's continue to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Romans 11:33–12:2 Bible in a Year: Genesis 4–6; Matthew 2 Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.—Romans 12:1 The weeks after Christmas are the busiest time of year in the US for merchandise returns as people trade unwanted gifts for what they really want. Yet you probably know a few people who always seem to give the perfect gift. How do they know just what another person values and what is right for the occasion? The key to successful gift-giving is not money; it’s listening to others and taking a personal interest in what they enjoy and appreciate. This is true for family and friends. But what about God? Is there anything meaningful or valuable that we can give to God? Is there anything He doesn’t already have? Romans 11:33-36, a song of praise to God for His great wisdom, knowledge, and glory, is followed by a call to give ourselves to Him. “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” (12:1). Instead of being shaped by the world around us, we are to be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” (v. 2). What’s the best gift we can give to God today? In gratitude, humility, and love we can give ourselves completely to Him—heart, mind, and will. It’s just what the Lord is longing to receive from each of us. —David McCasland Dear Lord, I’m Yours. I want to offer myself to You—heart, mind, and will—in humble service and in thankful worship for all You have done for me. The best gift we can give to God is ourselves. INSIGHT: As Paul begins to describe the new life we can have because of what Jesus has done (Rom. 12-16), he calls for a radical commitment involving the dedication of our bodies and transformation of our minds (12:1-2). God does not require that we die for Him; rather, we are to live for Him—“to offer [ourselves] as a living sacrifice” (v. 1). In the Old Testament two kinds of sacrifices were offered: propitiatory and dedicatory. Propitiatory or atoning sacrifices are mandatory sacrifices to atone for sin and to restore fellowship with God. Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29), is the perfect and final propitiatory sacrifice. Paul emphasizes that “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7). Dedicatory sacrifices are thank offerings voluntarily offered to God to express thankfulness, love, and joyful worship in response to divine blessing or His mercy and grace (Lev. 7:11-15; 22:29; Pss. 50:14, 23; 107:22). We can never offer ourselves as atoning sacrifices (no human person can) because only “Jesus, the Lamb of God, [can take] away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). But we are all qualified to be a thank offering, to be “living sacrifices.” Sim Kay Tee