“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
Paul had just talked about how God’s mercy brings salvation to both the Israelites and the Gentiles. Since this is the case, believers are to keep God’s great mercy in mind and offer their bodies as a living sacrifice. This is called true and proper worship.
In the Old Testament times, worship of God was done by sacrificing an animal on an altar. An animal was chosen that was without any defects and laid upon the altar. It was then killed and burned as a sacrifice of worship to God.
When Jesus died on the cross, He became the saving sacrifice for all time and all people. Unlike the sacrifices in the Old Testament for covering of sins, His sacrifice does not need to be repeated by anyone ever again. Yet, there needs to be sacrifices of worship to God.
Paul is stating that you should offer your body as a living sacrifice. You do not have to physically die on the altar, but your body must be sacrificed.
Sacrificing your body is doing God’s will with your physical abilities despite what you or your body wants to do. It is going the extra mile to help someone out, or to tell someone about Jesus. It is loosing that extra sleep in order to build someone else up in Jesus. It is denying sinful acts to live a testimony of who Jesus is. It is refusing to live in sin. It is going out of your way to be a witness to others.
Doing God’s desire is the greatest form of worship a person can give God. Speaking praises to God is good, but if the heart is not in it, and there is no action to back it up, it becomes meaningless. Jesus said that if you really love Him you would obey Him. This is the meaning of a living sacrifice–to obey God and do what He desires, even at the cost of your physical being.
Are you really worshiping God today? Or are you just speaking words of worship?
Are you worshiping God? Or are you worshiping yourself?
I pray today that you will know the mercy God has for you; that you will offer your body as a living sacrifice to God; that you will obey God’s desires for your life; and that you will be His witness everywhere you go.