“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship” (12:1). Since God is giving us mercy, we should submit ourselves to him.
🔑Sometimes, we think we have excuses for our spiritual failures when we are in certain situations and places. We say “But, God knows. But, Paul lived in an age when sensuality, the pursuit of pleasure, and rebellion against the Lord were prevalent. Today, we live in an age where pleasure outweighs pleasing God, money becomes the soul of man, and criminality becomes a norm. What a society!
🔑In response to this phenomenon, Paul wrote letters urging Christians not to follow the system and pattern of the world. Rather, they should have their minds renewed to fit into God’s desires and will. Like those early believers, we are to pursue godliness by presenting our bodies to God as living sacrifices. Our total being—mind, will, physical body, personality, and emotions—will be turned over completely to our heavenly Father (James 4:7).
🔑Submitting ourselves to the Lord requires both a definite decision to give Him control and a daily commitment to remain under His authority. We position ourselves for godly living by surrendering to Him – becoming living sacrifices. Submitting ourselves to God is not a Sunday, Sunday event. It is a whole lifetime phenomenon.
🔑Many believers are oblivious of the fact that the Christian life is built around the concept of sacrifice. For instance, Jesus left the perfection of heaven to dwell among sinful people so He might reconcile us to God. He sacrificed His life for our sake to make payment for our sins (1 John 3:16) and to bring us into His family. This is an ultimate sacrifice.
🔑And as believers, we are to follow His example. Paul called it a living sacrifice because it is ongoing and repeated daily. It is not a short-term thing, it is continual, so it is called living sacrifice. In the Old Testament, sacrificial animals were killed, but the sacrifice demanded of us is a living one. Our bodies must be fit to be described as the Temple of God.
🔑Let us not forget that life is full of options. Many decisions involve a choice between following God’s way or our own. The choice is actually yours. But, maturing Christians will increasingly sacrifice their own desires and embrace God’s will in their choices. Let your moment-to-moment choices be according to God’s will and desires for you.
🖋️Remember, following world patterns and values ends up being totally alienated from God. Make a choice today.
Shalom and Maranatha!