Romans 12:1.

Seven years ago a friend and the worship leader from my church, opened up our meeting time before practice with this verse:

(NIV)
Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 

I had heard this verse before, but had never really taken the time to look into what it meant.  We discussed it for a while, and it became what I wanted to live my life by.  I used to have the view that the term worship was talking about music on Sunday mornings.  It was a very narrow view of what worship truly is.  After digging into this verse, and also reading through The Purpose Driven Life, I realized that worship is so much more than music.  Music is a way I connect with God at times and declare how great he is through song, question him, and tell him where I want to be…but worship is so much more.

I think that the biggest question to wrestle with in this verse is:
What is exactly is a living sacrifice!? 
At the time, it was the name of a metal band that I listened to a lot and destroyed me at a concert back in high school. 

Thinking about being a living sacrifice is a beautiful, but hard picture of what God desires us to be.  It is a picture of us crawling onto a dirty altar, built of stones and sticks and mud.  It is a picture of us dying to our sinful nature and living for the glory of God.  It is a picture of us living every moment for the sake of Jesus Christ.  Pleasing God through our thoughts, our words, and our actions.  It says that this is our spiritual act of worship.  When we are living for the cross we are worshiping God. 

If we take a hold of that idea of being living sacrifices…holy and pleasing to God…it can change the way we live.  We will be transformed.  And through that others will see God’s mercy and God’s love.

*I am adding more thoughts today just from this first verse.  I think it is a very powerful chapter of scripture and has a lot of easy things in terms of understanding…but a little harder to put into action as it is a call to commit every moment to be holy and pleasing to God.*  

Paul says at the beggining…”I urge you”.  Urge means to recommend or suggest or give force to an action.  He saying that he strongly suggests we do this.  Do what?  and Why?  Right away he gives us the why.  “in view of God’s mercy”.  I don’t think it could be put better than that.  We do these things because Jesus Christ offered himself up for us and granted us the grace to be in relationship with him.  This makes the rest of the verse a response to what God did for us through Jesus Christ.  In thinking about it, we respond by making our lives an action of worship.  

I looked up a few translations of this verse…and the translation I had left our a word in the middle of the verse.  “offer your bodies as living sacrifices, alive, holy, and pleasing to God”  I think that word is important.  It creates a beautiful contradiction between a sacrifice and our own lives.  The idea of a living sacrifice is a hard thing to wrap my mind around.  How can I be a sacrifice but still be living?  How can I be alive?  

I feel like I could keep writing and writing, but that I would be writing the same thing over and over again.  It all comes down to this:

 God grants us mercy through his son Jesus Christ…as a response to that…we are transformed…our old self dies…but we are made alive…we respond and worship the Father through everything that we do.  Our thoughts, our words, and our actions.  Everything we do should be pleasing to the Lord.  That is worship.  It encompasses our life and we live lives of worship.

I think a question that could be asked…is “how do I live this out?”    For people it is easier than others.  My parents taught me from an early age that we are to be examples wherever we go.  That God is watching us and our actions need to please him. 

In practical terms…we may need to think a little more before we say something.  Does it glorify God?  This is a hard thing.  Getting caught up with friends and joking around…it is hard to keep everything we say holy and pleasing to God. 

Serving people.  We can act out a life of worship by putting others first and being willing to give our time up for others. 

There are many more ways..I will think and add more later as I have to move to the next classroom here! 

Add your own thoughts on how we live this out.  That means you Jon Kelly.

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Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment  

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