And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Romans 12:1 NLT
I have loved diving into this verse more this month, because, like so much of scripture, it is so much deeper than at first glance.
But God is full of paradoxes. His Word can be so deep, but yet so simple.
I think this verse is an example of that.
To give it a bit more light, I'm going to back up a couple verses to Romans 11:34-36
Who can know the Lord's thoughts?
Who knows enough to give him advice?
And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back?
For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.
THEREFORE, give yourselves to God as a living sacrifice....
In the Old Testament, what did an acceptable sacrifice look like to God?
First fruit or best of the flock.
If I am supposed to be giving myself as a sacrifice to God, especially an acceptable one, uh, pure, unblemished, and best of the flock I am not.
Thankfully, Jesus is willing to take on our sin, and clothe us in His righteousness so that we can appear pure and unblemished before God.
In the Old Testament, what was the point of sacrifice?
It was an active pursuit of a sinner to seek to appease God.
People, I can tell you right now. You are never going to appease God. You cannot do enough good to make up for the sin you are covered in. But again, thankfully, Jesus has taken on that one for us, too.
In the KJV Romans 12:1 reads:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Looking up in the concordance, this pretty much comes out to:
So, my paraphrase of Romans 11:34-12:1
No one can know what God is thinking. His thoughts and ways are so far beyond us. Who can pay Him back for anything. And who knows enough to tell Him what to do? No one.
Because everything comes from Him.
So, if He knows immeasurably more than you, and all things are from Him, and you are made by Him, then, the most logical thing to do is worship Him, and serve Him.
So, go back to the basics.
Turn to Jesus to cleanse you from your sins (become pure and unblemished)
Give Him your best (first fruits)
In every action, every word you speak, look to please Him
This is a perfect verse to start out this year of pursuing God's intentions spelled out in Romans 12.
The best place to start is at the foot of the cross. All of our good work is in vain if we do not carry the redemptive work of Jesus inside of our souls.
And Jesus sacrificed it all for you.
So doesn't it make sense, isn't it logical, to give your all back to Him?
Now, what does that look like in your life?