Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Living Sacrifice

At my home church, we are finishing up a study called Transformations.  It is more of the practical applications of living a Christ centered, Holy Spirit filled life.  What I have done is to go back to the beginning and start again, this time taking things more slowly.  It really is a great series and I would gladly recommend it to anyone.  There are worksheets as well as the podcasts from the sermons so far.  You can find it at Woodcreek Church's Transformation Series.

So the verses for today come from Romans 12: 1 and 2. 

(Rom 12:1)  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.

(Rom 12:2)  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.
As I read these, it dawned on me just how much time I have been spending immersed in other things, things of the world.  Things that have taken my time away from doing that which I need to do.  Study, pray. To be still and know that He is God.  There is a reason for everything that happens to each of us.  I believe that the reason for me to start again from the beginning of this series is to be shown just where I am at the moment, and to realize where I need to be in my walk.

I normally don't like the paraphrase versions of the Bible, but the software I use for Bible study, e-sword, allows for a parallel translation of the Bible.  One of the versions I keep open is the Message version.  I appreciated how the verses were presented from this version:
(Rom 12:1)  So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

(Rom 12:2)  Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I am not where these verses say I need to be right now.  You see, every aspect of your life needs to be a sacrifice to God. What I believe that sacrifice to be is more of an offering of praise; praise and worship. So again, I am not where I should be in my walk.  But like the prodigal son, I know that being a slave of my Father is better than wallowing in the filth of this world.  And that is what it boils down to.  Turning away from the world and running back to my Father.  This is why I started the series over.  I may not offer my body as a living sacrifice right now all the time, but with God's Grace, and the Holy Spirit's guidance, I know I will offer it more and more frequently.


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