Putting God's Word into Practice…

Romans 12:1, 3-8 Living Sacrifice

on August 28, 2012

Over my lifetime, Romans 12:1-2 might be the two most quoted verses I’ve heard.  In reading this familiar text this morning, God showed me how verses 3-8 help to fulfill the appeal from verse one and verses 9-21 demonstrate a fulfillment of the command in verse two.  Yet the whole chapter works beautifully together.  

Romans 12:1 (Amplified) I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Living a life of sacrifice is worship to God–and it is pleasing to Him.  Do we do this out of compulsion?  No! This lifestyle comes from a great understanding of His mercy as studied in chapters 9-11.

What does it look like to be a “living sacrifice?”  We sacrifice our reputation, time, energy, schedule, resources, pride, rights and leisure to serve the body of Christ.  Notice in verse one, we are a living sacrifice “TO GOD.”  When we recognize that our sacrifice is TO HIM, that should motivate us to sacrifice and serve in an acceptable way.

God has given us specific gifts as part of His body of believers that we use for each other (but “to Him”).  Listed in this section is prophecy, service, teaching, exhorting/encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy/kindness.  This list of gifts also comes with descriptive phrases for how we are to use them–with excellence and to the best of our God-given ability.

It is impossible to be a living sacrifice and be half-hearted, unintentional, lazy, reserved, joyless and unenthusiastic with the gifts God has given.  Using our gifts in this fashion demonstrates PRIDE!!  When we realize that our gifts are from God, that we are nothing apart from His grace and mercy, and that even the faith we have is given by Him, it humbles us to serve each other as unto Him.

And let me add, that if our spouse and children are followers of Jesus Christ, they are part of His body and we need to use our gifts in the home with the same humility, joy and diligence.

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