One of the passages that God is leading me to study right now is Romans 12. There are 21 verses in Romans 12 and I have spend the past few days studying on verse 1 alone. It may take me another year to get through all of this chapter, but since I truly believe that God is calling me to do some in depth study on this chapter, I will stick with it as long as it takes.
SO - take a look with me at verse one, would you?
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. NIV
In doing research into this verse, I'd like to share with you some word meanings so that we might all understand the verse more.....
Therefore -- Chapter 12 of Romans starts a second half, if you will, of the book of Romans. So, the word therefore, means "in light of all that I've said so far." You could replace the word therefore with in light of all that has been shared in Chapters 1 - 11...
I urge you --- the greek word is parakaleo which means to call on, to beg, to encourage....
in view of God's mercies -- the greek word is oiktirmos meaning compassion.
Paul has spent the first 11 chapters of Romans sharing all of God's compassion (mercies).
to offer -- the greek word is paristemi meaning to place a person or thing at ones disposal.
your bodies --all parts of our bodies (eyes, ears, feet, hands), the physical body as well as all other parts of ourselves.
as living -- alive -- not lifeless
sacrifices -- offerings
holy -- pure (through Christ Jesus)
and pleasing to God -- acting well
this is your spiritual act of worship -- the KJV says it this way: .....which is your reasonable service.....-- I like this version because it shows that Paul is saying that because of all of God's mercies, giving ourselves as living sacrifices is the reasonable (logical) thing to do as an act of worshipping the Lord.
If we understand then words, then the question becomes this: How do we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Lord?
Here is what I think.....I think that God is asking us to wake up everyday offer our selves -- all of ourselves -- our words, our activities, our actions, our thoughts to HIM....that they will be for his service and show HIM to the people we come into contact with that day. That means that we will have to choose the things that are of God for that day and probably we will have to give up some things of the flesh for that day. We will have to give over our will and choose God's will for the day.
It means asking God, "What am I to do today and what do I give up doing today?" And then doing what God has asked us to do. CHOOSING HIS way instead of our own. Becoming a living ( all of my activity) sacrifice (offering) to the Lord. That all we do that day will shine His light and give him glory.
Practically, that means being patient when telling my kids to stop fighting for the 10 hundredth time that day. It means being loving and kind, when the hubby comes in asking what's for supper when he has no idea what kind of day you've had.... It means being kind to the person who just cut you off in traffic, or kind to the person who you know was talking about you behind your back a few days before....
It means working for the Lord instead of watching tv and being lazy. It means every choice I make in a day, that I take the time to choose God's way and not the human way.
In this way, we are living sacrifices to the Lord.
In doing my research, I came across the following prayer and thought it was incredibly appropriate.
It is my prayer for this day... may it be yours as well.
"Lord, I hold within my trembling hand this will of mine. A think which seemest small, and only though, O Christ, canst understand how when I yield thee this, I yield mine all. It hath been wet with tears and stained with sighs, clinched in my grasp til beauty it hath none. Now, from thy footstool where it prostrate lies, my prayer ascendeth. Let thy will be done."
Let it be, Lord, Let it be!!!!!
Have a great Labor Day everyone!
in HIM --