a living sacrifice

Read Romans 12:1-2.

This brief passage simply overflows with remarkable thoughts! Thoughts that often go overlooked and fly in the face of much commonly accepted thinking and teaching about matters of godly faith. Three of those thoughts jump to my attention upon reading this text this time.

1. Brothers and sisters in Christ, people who have been in contact with God’s great mercy, require the “urging” of other Christians to initiate, and continue in, the ceaseless process of Christian sacrifice and transformation. How desperately we need each other to be true “brothers and sisters” in Christ to each other in this lifelong process of striving to become “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” We must deliberately and frequently be with other Christians if our life is to become a true offering on the altar to God. While there is gain to be had in quiet times to our selves with God, our spiritual formation cannot happen only in isolation; it requires conversation, testing, instruction, bonding, admonition and serving with others. Much of our motivation for transformation springs not from receiving more information, but simply through Christian connection.

2. Almost all of the “true worship” you have to offer the living God will not take place in a church building on Sundays. It will happen every day of every week outside of a church building. It will happen not as you do what you’ve always done, but as you change more into the person Jesus would have you become in every big and small way. It will happen only as you see your Mondays through Saturdays, as days full of worshipful sacrifice, equally holy to anything you share in doing down at the church building on Sundays.

3. It requires a transformed mind and an obedient lifestyle to test and approve what God’s will is. All the sermons you’ve heard through the years about “the simplicity of the gospel” aside, this Scripture teaches that not just any Christian with “one eye and half sense” can pick up on what God wants done. Consistent, submissive obedience to our Lord is required to open us up to enlightenment from the Lord. You can’t simply “think your way” into Christlikeness. There is much about the Christian life you will never know about or grasp unless you live after God with all of your strength, your behavior stretching your mind to be a better vessel for receiving what God would give you to grasp about him. For God chooses to reveal more of himself to us only as we submit more of ourself to him.

Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus I pray, may my mind and life be a living sacrifice to you today. Amen.

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