A Living Sacrifice

“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. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)

By Thomas Yerman

Meditating on these two dynamic verses of Scripture caused me to reflect on Abraham  when God tested his faith and asked him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, whom he loved. This Old Testament story from Genesis 22 gives us a picture of Abraham’s faith and obedience — and to some extent, Isaac’s trust and willingness to submit to his father’s instructions.

Testing Faith

Scripture does not specifically reveal any type of resistance or struggle from either Abraham, asked to sacrifice his only son, or from Isaac, who was bound and put upon the wood on the altar. Yet the first two verses of the chapter reveal a surprising and shocking request. I believe they were meant to help us understand the inward struggle Abraham must have been fighting, despite his faith in God to provide.

Isaac carried the wood on his back while Abraham carried the fire and the knife. In the end, God intervened, interrupting the action and stopping the test. Abraham’s faith shone along with God’s faithful provision.

After reflecting on this, you cannot help but be reminded of another Father/Son sacrificial story. The New Testament tells the story of God the Father sending his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die upon the cross of Calvary. The story of Abraham and Isaac truly points us to this future event.

A Sacrificed Life

With Jesus Christ, we see the ultimate sacrifice. We see the willing sacrifice of an obedient and trusting Son who carried his stack of wood (the cross) to the place where he sacrificially gave his life for the sake of others. Jesus died to provide the forgiveness of sin to those who put their trust in him, believing that his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven made their salvation possible.

Jesus’ death paid the price of our sin. He died so we would not only escape death eternally, but he also died for us so we would live for him. In the end, God honors Christ’s intercession for our lives forever. Believers are relationally heaven-bound, but until then, we are called to be living sacrifices.

This is where Romans 12:1-2 comes in.

Uncommon Life

As Paul finished speaking doctrinally in the previous chapters of Romans, he now appeals to doctrinal application. It’s where the truth being taught is applied to life — where the rubber meets the road. Those who believe, putting their faith and trust in Jesus, are strongly encouraged to become a “living sacrifice.” Believers are to live an uncommon life. We are called to offer up a life that is alive, holy, and pleasing to God.

With Jesus conquering death, defeating Satan, and overcoming the world, believers are, however, left with a problem — basically only one problem. Living sacrifices can crawl off the altar. Because we are faced with that temptation every day, we must stay focused on keeping the proper mindset to win that battle. We are no ordinary people. We have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit helping us be transformed to become a pure spiritual offering to God, knowing and enjoying his perfect will. We are a chosen people called to worship God. Becoming a living sacrifice is both at the heart of worshiping God and obedience.

History tells of a deepening understanding of sacrifices. The Dead Sea Scrolls community believed their holy way of life was a substitution for the temple sacrifices, which they believed to have been corrupted. And in an early church document called, A Plea for the Christians, Athenagoras argued that Christians should not participate in pagan sacrifices but instead “present a bloodless sacrifice, to offer ‘spiritual worship.’”

Just as God led people in earlier centuries to be living sacrifices and to know his will, may his Spirit continue to move forward — in and through us! When believers yet to come look back at us, may they also be encouraged — and see the power of the gospel in our living sacrifice.

History is watching. Stay focused. Keep the proper mindset. You are fully equipped to win!

Tom Yerman is an FCA pastor ministering at Living Hope Church in Elk Grove Village.

Pathway Church Looking for New Pastor

Position: Lead Pastor

Overview of Church & Community

Located in Shorewood, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago, Pathway Church is a non-denominational, charismatic congregation affiliated with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. We value authentic relationships and put our trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for our eternal salvation.

We are a family-friendly community that has grown from our roots as a home church in our founding pastor’s farmhouse, to its current location, a scenic five-acre property surrounded by a forest preserve near the DuPage River.

The four pillars of Pathway Church are Follow, Connect, Discover and Serve. We value being a place where people are discovering who Jesus Christ really is by following the commands of Jesus, connecting with other believers, discovering our spiritual gifts and serving the community.

We place a strong value on the connection and empowerment that comes from healthy families and encourage this culture by offering a variety of classes and small groups, in addition to our regular church gatherings, all complete with sound Biblical teaching and worship. We are actively seeking the Lord for fresh strategies to reach younger individuals and families.

We believe in the five-fold ministry model, outlined in Ephesians 4:11-12, in which the five spiritual gifts are used to equip the saints to perform the work of the ministry.

Our Present Situation

Our current lead pastor has served Pathway Church for over fifteen years. He has now moved to part-time status as pastor as he has recently started to serve part-time as a chaplain for Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA). His time with CCA will be gradually increasing to full-time service, so we anticipate the transition period to be 6-12 months. Our prayerful path is to hire a lead pastor who will work alongside our current pastor during this transition period.

A parsonage is available on our property for the new, incoming pastor and his family, with a housing allowance possibly becoming available at a later date, as funding becomes available, that will enable the pastor to purchase his own home.

Please submit your resume, personal testimony, and personal statement of belief to apply@pathwayshorewood.com.

Pathway Church
19554 NW Frontage Rd., Shorewood, IL

Lloyd Jacobsen, Long-Time FCA Pastor, with the Lord

On Wednesday, November 20, 2019 Pastor Lloyd Charles Jacobsen passed away at the age of 85. A long-time minister with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, Pastor Jacobsen was known for his love and boundless encouragement. Pastor Jacobsen lived what he believed. Over the years he mentored many young pastors and impacted countless people in his life of service to the King.

Lloyd was born on October 17, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York, to Herbert and Evelyn (Stensrud) Jacobsen. After graduating from high school at age 16 and from Southeastern Bible College at age 18, Lloyd went directly into the ministry. On July 5, 1958, he married Janna Mattson. Together they raised three sons, Steen, Peder and Evan; and one daughter, Lisbeth.

Lloyd served churches in the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies across the country. He was associate pastor at Duluth Gospel Tabernacle (Duluth, Minnesota) under early FCA pioneer, E.C. Erickson. From there Lloyd became pastor of Calvary Assembly (Estherville, Iowa) until he moved in the early 1970s to St. Paul, Minnesota to be senior pastor at Bethel Temple (now Bethel Christian Fellowship). Nearly 20 years later he became senior pastor at Bethel Christian Assembly (San Francisco, California).

His latter years expanded his legacy of effective ministry — as associate pastor (Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle, Smithtown, New York), as assistant pastor (Valley Christian Assembly, Palm Desert, California), and as traveling teacher, leading “New Friends Ministry” seminars to help congregations assimilate newcomers.

Five years after the death of his wife, Janna, in 2005, Lloyd married Barbara Copeland on October 9, 2010. Besides his first wife, Janna, he was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister, Lorraine. He is survived by his children Steen (Linda), Peder (Linda), Evan (Laura) and Lisbeth, second wife Barbara, thirteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be held both in California and Minnesota. In California, the service will be on Tuesday, November 26 at 11 a.m. at Valley Christian Assembly, located at 73979 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, California 92260. In Minnesota, the service will be November 30 at 2 p.m. at the River Valley Church, Woodbury campus located at 7805 Hudson Road, Suite 140, Woodbury, Minneota 55125.

Ministry Opportunities

Several ministry positions are currently open in the FCA. Ministers looking for an opportunity to serve can check current available positions HERE.

The most recent listing is for a pastor to serve a church in Kent, Washington…

Pastor. Riverview Community Church in Kent, Washington (http://www.riverview.cc/) is seeking a pastor who exhibits loyalty and delivers in-depth preaching that will challenge listeners to respond at the altar. The church desires someone gifted in administration and leadership as well as skilled in financial management. Preference: someone with ministry credentials and experience (especially as a youth pastor, if possible) along with the ability to identify with younger singles and families. Also prefer someone with a good marriage (i.e. no divorce) who has children. Resumes may be emailed to rivervwelders@gmail.com.

Celebrating the Mission

Historic FCA mission organization marks major accomplishments

The World Outreach Ministry Foundation (WOMF) was founded years ago by Ron and Shirley DeVore. Today the organization still exists to see people live life to the fullest—in a number of African countries.

The vision of WOMF is to see God transform lives, empowering people to build thriving communities.

"Our mission is simple: train, equip, and support local leaders to make a difference in their nation," says Jesse Crock, WOMF Vice President. Crock notes that supporters who partner with the mission of WOMF, are joining in "a Christ-focused ministry that brings hope for a brighter future."

This October 12th, WOMF will be celebrating their years of ministry at an Annual Gala & Silent Auction. People in the Seattle-Tacoma area are invited to come together at Emerald Downs (2300 Ron Crockett Drive NW, Auburn, Washington) for a night of uplifting stories from the mission’s work—stories of hope and healing.

Crock assures guests that they will discover new ways to participate in the mission’s various efforts. "You can offer [people] dignity and truly make an impact in Africa," he says.

WOMF will provide their guests with an excellent dinner as part of the evening of celebration. Any who are interested in attending the event should make reservations at womf2019gala.eventbrite.com