How do we protect ourselves from being “conformed to this world”? We have to give up our rights to ourselves:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The Greek for “present” is paristemi and it means “to place beside, put at disposal; to present, make an offering.” It gives the sense of permanence. A bride presents herself to her husband and him to her on their wedding night as a permanent offering of their dedication to and love for one another. This is the point Paul is making here.
This is what Jesus meant when He gave us the Greatest Commandment:
“But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
Paul is telling us that we are to give God our bodies, our minds, and our wills. Jesus set the example of a living sacrifice and we are to follow by willingly yielding ourselves to God as did our Savior.
Why should we do this? Besides being what is best for our bodies, Paul is telling us it is the least we can do. It is our reasonable service and sacrifice to God for what Jesus did for us. Wiersbe tells us it is our spiritual worship:
“This means that every day is a worship experience when your body is yielded to the Lord.”
Is that true of each of us? Is every day of my life a worship experience because I have yielded my body to the Lord?
“Lord Jesus, forgive me because this is not me. Every day is not a worship experience because I selfishly and sinfully cling to my body and refuse to yield it to you. Lord, I hold onto to my will and I allow my thoughts to entertain vile things. Heavenly Father, you deserve all of me, body, mind, and soul. Help me Jesus, help me to yield to you, in your name I pray.”
I have nothing else to write.
That prayer is right where I am; it is what God has placed in front of me.
There is no need for theological discussion or deep reflection.
It is simply a case of willful obedience.
Will I do it? I pray so. Will you?
An act of obedience for all of us would be to attend church this Sunday.
I pray you will do so and have a blessed weekend.
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers