Today’s Bible Reading: Romans 12
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.
And so… what? In the previous chapters (1-11), Paul laid out God’s case against humanity—Jews, Gentiles, all of us. Then he told us of God’s amazing solution. It’s Jesus! We have an opportunity now through Jesus to change our old identity as sinners and be born again into a new life in Christ. Saved by grace. Empowered by the Holy Spirit!
And so, Paul pleads with us to offer ourselves back to God, because of all God has done for us. This is our appropriate worship of him who has done so much. Well, that seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Sure, right up until you try to do it!
And so, Paul tells us how—by allowing God to transform our minds to his way of thinking. It’s an inside-to-outside transformation, not conforming to what the world says is important (which is outside-to-inside), but having God’s priority become yours. His priority is love.
Paul instructs us in how this should play out and then he gets to the verse that has been so useful in my own life:
Romans 12:18 (NIV)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
I love this verse because there are people in my life who do not want to live at peace with me. I have prayed, spoken with, apologized, explained, sought counsel, everything I could think of to do, and still, we are not at peace. In Romans, God’s word says that I can only do what I can do. Then, in Philippians 4:6-7, I read, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
I can live there, in that peace. I trust that his plan will be accomplished in this and all other things that I encounter today. And so, I can do this: “Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink…’ Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” (Romans 12:20-21). This is what Jesus did: conquered evil with good and gave himself up as a living sacrifice.
What would it look like for you to offer yourself as a living sacrifice to Christ? Is there a situation in your life where you have done all you can to fix, and it isn’t fixed? What could you do with that?
Make amends with those who have a grudge against you, as much as it is up to you. Trust God with the outcome.
Heavenly Father, today I offer you myself as a living sacrifice. My desire is to honor you with my service and my life because of all you have done for me. Help me know what it is to live in peace with all people, and to trust in your justice in every situation. You are God. I am not. Lots of people, including me, are pretty happy about that! Thank you for your mercies, which are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness! Amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people who God used to start CedarCreek 21 years ago, and was on staff until 2013. She and her husband Mike love to travel the country in their motor home with their kitties Jane & Mary. Lauri is passionate about prayer, and about helping women discover who they are in Christ. She doesn’t tweet but you can follow her and Mike’s adventures on Facebook.
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