02/23/T – Living Sacrifices

2 Chronicles 24:1-27; Romans 12:1-8; Psalms 22:27-31; Proverbs 10:11-12

NT: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1-8‬ ‭CSB)

In light of God’s great mercy towards us… in light of the fact that God did not require us to pay the debt of our sin, but had His Son Jesus Christ pay that debt for us… in light of the fact that God didn’t just reconcile us, but provided a way through His Son Jesus Christ for us to have a new sin-free life… in light of the fact that God did not just leave us to our own devices to work out righteousness in us, but filled us with His Spirit to empower us for holiness and righteousness… in light of the fact that God didn’t do this based on our goodness or our good deeds, but did it by grace as we placed our faith in Him and on His Son… in light of the fact that we who had no spiritual lineage were grafted into the rich spiritual heritage of the family of God and have been made sons and daughters of God – we should present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice and commit our bodies as instruments in God’s service. Because Christ gave His life for ours – because we have been  bought by the shed blood of God’s Son, the only reasonable thing for us to do is devote our bodies to God. Beyond singing songs in church or going to a concert event, this is true worship.

The world around us desires to press us into conformity. We see this all around us in the news and on social media sites. If we don’t conform to the standards du jour of the world, we will be shamed, ostracized and cancelled. The world wants to control our thought life. God, however, wants to transform our thought life. He wants to renew and renovate our minds so that we are no longer stuck in the thought patterns of sin, but free to think thoughts that are righteous, pure and true. When we present our bodies completely to God, He transforms our thoughts and renews our minds by His Spirit. As He does that, no longer are we confused or cloudy on what His will is. Instead we are able to see with clarity and know and prove out what His good, perfect and pleasing will is. And by knowing His will, we are able to surrender ours and walk in His.

As we come to the Lord in faith, present our bodies to Him in worship, and allow His Holy Spirit to transform our thoughts and renew our minds; it is important that we keep a sober and sensible view of ourselves. Everyone has been graced by God the Father with gifts. When we come in faith, God the Father graces us to work in those gifts for the benefit of the body of believers as a whole. We should not think that our abilities are our own, or that we are better than others, or that we can function in a gifting that we don’t have. In the same way, we should not consider ourselves to be ungifted and of no value to God or His body. God has made us to be firstly dependent on Him and secondly interdependent on others in the body of faith. We are not made, nor are we graced to be independent. Our bodies belong to God, and our gifts are for the sake of the body. If we have been saved, redeemed and restored by God through faith, our lives are not our own and we should not live for ourselves.

Psalms: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord. All the families of the nations will bow down before you, for kingship belongs to the Lord; he rules the nations. All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before him — even the one who cannot preserve his life. Their descendants will serve him; the next generation will be told about the Lord. They will come and declare his righteousness; to a people yet to be born they will declare what he has done.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭22:27-31‬ ‭CSB)

As King David received and wrote down a prophetic picture of the crucifixion of Messiah, he also received and wrote down a prophetic vision of the global expansion of the Kingdom of God after the Messiah’s resurrection. Global revival begins with those who have been saved and redeemed by the Messiah’s death and resurrection as they bow down in worship to the Lord of All. With hearts surrendered, lives committed, and minds transformed by the grace of the Lord, those redeemed believers will pass on the good news of what God has done to the generations that come… and those generations will do the same, until the Great Commission is fulfilled and the Son returns to claim His bride. It begins and continues as we present our bodies as living sacrifices to God and humbly serve one another.

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