Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Let’s look at the first part, as a proper dissection should go. ‘In view of God’s mercy’. The first admonishment Paul gives us when instructing us in worship is this: in view of God’s mercy. In view of God’s mercy, His favor, His grace, His compassion, and His forgiveness in the face of our multitudes of disgusting sin. Did you know that the actual definition of the word ‘mercy’ is ‘unmerited’ or unearned ‘favor’? When you worship, do you go into it thinking of God’s mercy, or of what you ate for lunch, what you want from God, and how horrible you are? None of those are right! As Paul says, we must go into worship in view of God’s mercy. This is especially apparent if you go back and read the last few verses of chapter 11, where Paul speaks of his wonder at God’s power and mercy.
Alright, in view of God’s mercy. Got that. What’s next? ‘To offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God’. A living sacrifice. In the Old Testament when an animal was chosen to be a sacrifice to God- whether is was a sin offering or a thank offering or some other offering- they would have to be the best of the best of the animals, not blemished in the slightest. Just as er should be a living offerings. Scripture says that we should be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Set-apart for God. I was recently reading in Numbers and it was listing all the sacrifices and what was required for each individual one. It was interesting to see that the sin offering wasn’t the most demanding one- rather that of the thank offerings and praise offerings. How important they are! So, how can we be a living sacrifice? Well, first of all, we must be set apart for God, the best that we can be for Him. That is an act of worship to God. The true and proper act of worship.You don’t have to only be singing to worship God and give Him the glory and thanks that he deserves, but you can worship Him even more by loving others, and honoring Him with all that you are! Whether it is through art, or sports, or singing, or dance, or writing, or serving! That is what is being a living sacrifice: being completely and totally God’s. That is what our whole purpose is anyway! To bring Him praise and delight (Philippians 3). That is what our spiritual act of worship is. Do you love your savoir enough to do this? To truly offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God? And to not just talk about it, but to actually do it? It isn’t easy, and this decision is a dangerous one that you can’t make once, but that you have to renew daily. Are you ready? Are you willing?
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