Ahhh Romans 12! It stirs a love, excitement and passion in my heart for God and others! Please stop and read the chapter first, then connect back with me 🙂 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2012&version=NIV&interface=amp
Now let's loop back to Romans 12:1 and we will meditate on this verse. We can only see how to get the goodness we desire in our lives and in our church body after grasping this verse: "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" (Rom. 12:1).
Upon reading, it may be easy to gloss over the word "sacrifice." But knowing what a sacrifice is in the Bible, this verse is telling us the Christian Life is going to get messy. A sacrifice is often broken, bloody, or burning, etc. Imagine the sacrifice of yourself, a perpetual living sacrifice, even your family, a continual living sacrifice until we get to glory. Let's let the reality of this not-so-pretty way of spiritual change set in.
The good works which we see throughout the rest of the chapter will not become reality unless we first allow the Holy Spirit to clean house. We can't have the old sin and the new Spirit operating together, without one becoming the ruler of the person. So, when we are asked to submit to the burning away of our selfish flesh, which is worldly and demonic, we have to surrender to the altar Jesus puts in our way: of inconvenience, humility, truth, you name it. We can't allow the demonic/fleshly to have a place or continue thriving. Not lying, fornication, pride, or achievement… or many words like this that all have "i" in them… What may it be for you?
Surrender will lead to life. Romans 6:19 "...so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness." 1 Peter 2:5 "you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" Though it may not feel good, the uncomfortability that we live in as believers due to our flesh dying will actually lead to life eternal. We have the Comforter to help us. The compassion of the Lord is toward us and because he loves we can love him. He is the one that builds his house with living stones. We just need to be available and willing to be placed where he wants.
What does Jesus require? Surrender. It's not a mighty act of me. Through Him the church in the book of Acts went on to do amazing things. If we follow through on this chapter would our lives look the same or different?
Some notable points:
We belong to each other. "so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others" (v. 5).
We have different gifts. If you don't think you have a gift or don't know what it is, ask the Holy Spirit. He has given to all. (vv. 6-8)
Do we live out this love? If we have in part, is there a fuller love he wants to give? I'm sure the answer is "yes" for me and you, unless we believe we have "arrived."
Lord, we surrender to your loving, refining fire. Through your grace help us see ourselves. Take us past the image of ourselves that we've built and what other people have put on us, good or bad, and let those kingdoms fall. We want to walk in your Spirit, daily living out the deeds the Spirit has for us. Let it be!