Text: ..."I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service"...
- Romans 12:1
Romans Chapter 12 is Paul's response to the Christian convert wondering where to go and what to do from here. Its his challenge to those who have been justified by faith through grace how to respond in our everyday lives with our new found relationship. Paul takes up our duties toward self, toward others, toward our communities, our enemies, the government, and toward our weaker counterparts. Paul challenges us to a surrendered life.
Presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice is a serious and devout consideration to the mercies of God. Our bodies are reflective of our members and an extension of our entire lives. This call for a total commitment is our reasonable service. In perspective, if the Son of God has died for us then the least we can do is to live for Him. If Jesus being God in the flesh died for us, then no sacrifice can be too great for us to make for Him. His love is so amazing, so divine; it demands a response from our heart, our lives, and our mind.
Our reasonable service is an act of spiritual worship. As believers and priets of the most High, we do not come to God with the bodies of slain animals but with the spiritual sacrifice of a yielded life offering Him our service. We are not conformed to this world and we refuse to be shaped or molded by it. When we come to the Kingdom of God, we abandon the thought pattern of this world. We make a conscious decision not to become a product of our society or systems that man has built for self gratification. For this world represents a kingdom antagonistic toward the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The god and prince of this world is Satan.
Any non-citizen of glory is uncovered and subject to Satan's works. Satan seeks to attract and hold non-citizens captive by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. In fact this present world has its own politics, art, music, religion, amusesments, and lifestyles. It seeks to conform everyone to its culture and customs while hating nonconformists. Yet Christ died to deliver us from this world. Thusly the world is crucified to us and we are crucified to the world. It is an absolute disloyalty to the Lord for a believer to love this world. Believers are no more a part of this world than Christ is a part of this world. We are in this world but not of this world. We have been sent into this world to testify that the works of Satan are evil and that salvation is available to any and all who would put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The surrendered life is a call to a transformed and renewed mind. We are called to think like Christ thinks. The mind of Christ helps us to embrace that His will is not distasteful and hard but rather good, acceptable, and perfect. There are three keys to the surrendered life and knowing the will of God. The first is a yielded body, the second is a separated life, and the third is a transformed mind. "Yielded, separated, and transformed. Such giving of the body to God is more than a contrast with dead animals, it is a newness to life. Spiritual transformation starts in the mind and the heart. A mind dedicated to the world produces a life tossed back and forth by the currents of culture. But the mind dedicated to God's truth will produce a life that can stand the test of time.
We can resist the temptations of our culture by meditating on God's word and by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and to shape our thoughts and behaviors. Today, if you are struggling, tossed to and fro; I challenge you to surrender your life, accept His will, His way, and His word. If God is your copilot, swap seats. Don't give Him instructions, just report for duty. The will of God will never take you where His grace will not protect you. 1 cross plus 3 nails equals 4 given. Surrender today!