O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.— Romans 11:33-12:2
By the mercies of God, the Redeemed of the Lord no longer have to live in ignorance, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. We CAN live right. We CAN think right. All because of God’s grace! We do not have to live defeated lives.
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:4-5
Paul now beseeches and pleads with us to present our bodies as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” There are five aspects of this we will look at over the next few days.
- The sacrifice must be willing
- The sacrifice must be whole
- The sacrifice must be dedicated
- The sacrifice must be holy
- The sacrifice must be acceptable
The Sacrifice Must be Willing
Notice first that the sacrifice must be PRESENTED. This implies the sacrifice is willing. The Lord does not force us into becoming a sacrifice nor does He feel obliged to violently urge and persuade us to becoming a sacrifice. The Lord wants us of our own free will to devote our whole, entire lives to him in service in remembrance of His mercies. There may be those who believe our God to be self-absorbed whose sole interest in the universe is to gain glory for Himself. If that were the case, He could have created self-functioning, pre-programmed robots to sing praises to Him for eternity. Instead, God created man with a free will. God wanted a people He could have a personal relationship with and be personally concerned with their needs. He wanted a people who would reciprocate His love. This relationship is available to any and all who desire it. Every Born-Again Believer is called to consider God’s mercies and willingly present their bodies to Him. Is it not so much more precious for a child to willingly and affectionately rush up to their father or mother for an embrace without being asked than for the child to be asked for a hug? CONSIDERING THE MERCIES OF GOD, we should all of our own free will rush to our Heavenly Father in complete and unrestrained affection and service. This sacrifice must be WILLING. Let’s PRESENT our sacrifice.