In my Bible readings, I am marching my way through Romans right now. I don’t really read chapters, in their order or chronologically, I read what calls to me at any given time. If I do that, I feel like maybe God wants me to hear, see or get a particular message. I really enjoy Romans because I feel challenged to pull out more of it and then actually live it!
In Chapter 12, it’s hard not to just post the entire chapter! So… I almost did. That’s how I feel about this one.
A Living Sacrifice
12 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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Wow. As Christians, how do we live into this? How can we be living sacrifices?
Romans 6:2-4 says:
2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
We are no longer are our own. We are to be a living sacrifice, available to Christ for His will and His ways. This is how we live into God’s good and perfect will for our lives. What an honor and privilege!
Romans 12:9-21 (New International Version)
Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[b] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Oh, my goodness! This is what it is to live the Christian life. We need to find what our spiritual gifts are, the gifts God has given us, then use them to serve others.
Verses 9-21 is a list of how we should live our lives. Not because we do it out of duty but out of love. Not a fake, put on love, but a genuine love that will express God’s love for us and ours for Him. It isn’t always easy and sometimes we want to rebel and just skip on to the good stuff again. If so, are we a living sacrifice?
Be ready to help when God’s people are in need. Serve the Lord enthusiastically! Bless those who persecute you, bless them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, and on and on! This is what it’s like to live your life as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
Hold fast to what is good and