A daily devotional moment by Chris Garcia
Romans 12:1–2 (NASB95): Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
All the Lord wants is you. All He wants is all of you. Why? Because He gave all of Himself to you. He offered Himself to you. He offered His life as a sacrifice. The Lamb of God came to this earth. Lived a sinless life. Gave up His very being in life to ransom you. He gave His life for us. Think about that for just a moment. God gave His life up for you. He offered His body. He offered up His soul as an atoning sacrifice for yours and my sins. He gave His very life and what He wants now is your life. It’s not just, “I have Jesus in my heart.” What does that mean though? Does Jesus have your heart? So many times it is very easy to come to the Lord and to ask for things. There is nothing wrong with asking. Not at all. But what happens is, that we stop there. Our life and the way that we view the Holy Spirit in our lives is one of, "I need this." "Give me this." "I am asking for that, give me that." But did you know that God is asking YOU for something? God is asking of you. This morning while reading Romans 12:1-2, the Scripture just came alive for me. The Scripture says, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship,” and the word "present" means to offer yourself as an offering. Lately, we have been talking about the priestly dimension of Christ and our call as a royal priesthood. We are called to be priests unto the Lord. There is a priestly dimension that the believer is called to and so Paul, being a Jew, a messianic believer, and Yeshua, Jesus, uses Tabernacle temple imagery to convey what worship is. Worship is the offering of a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, we saw the Levites who took sacrifices of various animals and grain offerings and they presented offerings daily to the Lord. Most of those offerings were alive at one time but died. In the Old Testament, the priest offered a dead sacrifice. But in the New Testament, the Lord asked us that we would offer a living sacrifice. Why is that? Because in the new covenant, it is a new and living way and it says, to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God which is acceptable to God.” Which is your reasonable service of worship.
In the New Testament, Christ gave of His perfect life. There is no more need for atoning sacrifices like in the Levitical order of the priesthood of the Old Testament. Why? Because Christ became the spotless lamb and He gave the perfect sacrifice once and for all. For all time. For all sins. But that doesn’t mean that we do not offer something as well. Because He is still looking for us to respond to that sacrifice. Worship is a call and response. God calls us and we respond to Him. In the same way, we present our bodies. He calls us to be His own people. He calls us to Himself through Christ who made the first step and atone for our lives. He became the perfect sacrifice and now we respond to that grace. By the offering of ourselves. It is not a works thing. It is a grace and mercy thing. It is by the mercy of God that we do these things. It says, “Therefore I urge you…”. This is strong language from Paul. He is saying “I am urging you.” "I’m exhorting you. I am speaking with you with all seriousness. I am urging you, Brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,“ It is not by works. No works of the law will justify a man. It is the perfect offering for sin and it is faith in Christ that justifies us. But it is by His mercy that we respond back. We offer our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice. And what is that? It is a gift unto the Lord. There is a tie between sacrifices and gifts in the Old Testament. They are both offerings to the Lord and when we present our bodies when we offer ourselves. Well, let's look at what Paul is saying, “our bodies we are offering our spirit our soul our all” as both a gift and a sacrifice unto the Lord. It is acceptable to the Lord. It is acceptable to God. Which is your reasonable service of worship. So what is your reasonable worship? The offering of your life to Him. It is not just a legalistic approach where I am fasting and sacrificing this or that. It is not in those terms. It is by the mercies. You get a revelation of the grace and mercies that the response of your heart is to lay your life down continually at His feet.
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