FRIDAY, FEB. 24: Today we are going to look at some of the most popular verses in the Bible.
In our modern times we are bombarded by so many things that seek our attention, time and talents.
Many of us have become accustomed to the juggling act of daily responsibilities associated with our personal lives, family, work and even the church.
On top of this, life is full of transitions and changes. Just when you thought life was a bit predictable, it changes again, causing you to “flex” and adjust to something new.
However, with all of the demands of life we must neither ignore nor neglect the reality that God has something greater for us. He so desires that we live a transformed life.
One of the greatest teachings in the Bible of transformation is found in Romans 12.
The first three verses are so full of spiritual truth that it is necessary to look at one verse a week over the next few weeks. Let’s look at the first… “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”
When you read the book of Romans you realize that Paul has been building foundational truth to get to this point of application.
He talks about how God created all that we see, how we have all sinned, how this sin entered the world, and on and on he goes.
When he gets to chapter 12 he makes a strong shift in the style of his writing to move away from doctrinal teaching and directly into practical application.
He states in view of God’s mercy that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice.
God’s mercy and grace has been the entire theme of chapters 1–11. It is interesting to note that in the original language (Greek) of this letter the word “present”, does not mean to keep on presenting over and over.
Rather, it means to present ‘once and for all’. The idea is that as a believer, you should get to a point in your life when you surrender trying to live this life by working harder and longer, and just give everything over to God.
Why would the Holy Spirit ask you to present your body first? Shouldn’t someone first present his or her mind or will?
Well we have here a teaching from the greater to the lesser. In other words if God has your body, then He must also have your mind, which means that you would have to surrender your will over to Him as well.
When the Bible says to present your body, it means every living part of you has to be surrendered to God as a sacrifice from you to Him.
Notice the next things the Bible states is it is holy and pleasing to God when you do this. The word “holy” means to be set-apart. In other words, our body is set-apart for God’s use and this is what pleases Him.
I like the last part of verse one “… this is your spiritual act of worship”.
Another translation states it is your reasonable act of worship. This describes that giving ourselves to God in light of His grace and love that He has lavished on us, is only a reasonable or normal response.
This means total commitment to God should not be strange or abnormal, but the norm.
Most times we have a tendency to look at someone that has fully given himself or herself over to God and think that they are ‘radical’ in their faith.
Here the passage teaches, that this is the least we can do when we are looking through the lens of God’s mercy towards us.
Instead of trying to figure out life on your own, have another look at God’s mercy… His grace… His love for you… and you will run to him and say, “God take my life, take my body, it is the least I can do in light of all you have done for me.”
Then you will be on your way to a transformed life to fully grasp the abundant life that God truly wants you to experience.
Jim Elliott, a missionary that was killed in Ecuador at the age of 28, said it well in his October 28, 1949 journal entry… “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Pastor Gary Simons is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship. Sunday services take place at CedarBridge Academy at 10am.