By Mike Chaffin
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. Romans 12:1
Aren’t we usually very appreciative and thankful when someone does us kindness? Someone brings over food, or financial help when in a pinch, or comes along side us when we need a friend. Their help or aid could be so impactful that we don’t know how we could ever pay them back.
In today’s verse Paul gives us an idea of how we can repay God, for all he has done for us. We are to give our bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice, the kind He will find acceptable.
Paul uses an interesting turn of phrase when referring to our desire to payback God. We are to give him ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice. This is the only kind of sacrifice God will find acceptable. And, Paul adds, this is truly the only way to worship God.
As Christians we think Jesus paid it all in His Sacrifice for our sins. He did. We can’t add to His work, but we can, and must, do the work He has for us. This is how we worship Him. Jesus spent much of His earthly teaching ministry to show us the importance of worship and the proper way to worship.
He criticized the pharisees for tithing even down to the herbs in their garden but neglecting to show compassion. He showed us that pride in our prayers should be replaced with contrition and adoration of God, not self.
Jesus instructed everyone who accepts Him to be reborn in the Spirit. He then instructed everyone who will follow Him to take up their cross and follow Him.
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Luke 9:23-24
Thus, Paul succinctly wraps up Jesus’ teaching in our verse.
When we think about all Jesus has done for us; saved us, rescued us from eternal death, and given us His Holy Spirit, we should be grateful. Then He fills us with peace, love, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Given these fruits we can live the kind of life that fulfills Jesus’ desire for a living and Holy life given to Him. It sometimes isn’t easy, but it is worth it, for all eternity.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us so much. We can never repay you and we could never earn your favor. You gave yourself as a gift and your gift keeps on giving. Help me to pray to you daily and seek your will in my life so I can live a Holy and acceptable life for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
* There is a website that conducted a search for Bible verses. They compiled a list of the verses in order of the magnitude of hits they got in their search. Some of these verses qualify as ‘people’s favorites’, while others might be on the list because they are some of the most important and most teachable words of God.