Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Give your bodies to God. . .a living and holy sacrifice.

Rom. 12:1-8NLT  
   1 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. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 
   3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 
   6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Here is the key-- giving ourselves over as a sacrifice to God that lives for His purposes-- brings the greatest satisfaction possible. More than living for our own personal preferences, giving up self brings rich fulfillment and does so for an eternity. Self will only marginally satisfies for a moment however.  We can only please God when we give up self. And we can only have the power to do true good when we allow God's power to do it through us. Then He changes us into something new and different from what our fallen human nature produces within us. Even then we cannot think we are good in and of ourselves-- merely that God lives within and is in the process of making us like Christ.

Paul next engages in describing how the body of believers in Christ functions like a human body-- in concert and collaboration for common ends. Because we have laid down the self-will of human nature and allowed God to build up sacrificial harmony within us we can then function together for God's greater purposes rather than for our individual ones. One of the signs this is true is when we are able to live in positive cooperation with other believers in our local congregations or among larger groups of Christians without bringing conflict. Then we each begin to exercise uniqueness in ways God equips but that are necessary for the common good of the body of believers. Then we can serve selflessly. Then we can teach well. Then we can encourage positively. Then we can give generously. Then we can led skillfully. Then we can shower appropriate and sincere kindness upon others with a genuine interest in their welfare. Are you able to exercise the 'special function' that God's Spirit is calling you to do and equipping you among other believers to do?

Let today be another such day of peace and humble service in Christ's love for others then.

Your servant in Christ's love

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to let us know how these thoughts have inspired, blessed, or challenged you. If you wish to engage, please post your question.

DreamHost reviews