“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 12:1-2no3 KJV
What is sacrifice? To devote with loss. We often sacrifice health to pleasure and integrity to popularity, but seldom carnal lust to obedience of God’s Word. Think about it for a moment; we quite often try to bargain with God about how we will comply with His Commands. We may not consciously do so, but each time I form an idea about God that is unsupported by Scripture, I have molded Him in my image instead of vice versa. You can “claim” a Promise, but unless you comply with the conditions of God’s Word, it’s just wasted breath! Today’s text gives us an example. We are not transformed by renewing our body, but by renewing our mind. Renew is an interesting word, meaning to make new again or to restore to a “new” condition. Thinking must be corrected before living will change! Want to correct a bad habit? Replace it with a good one. Want to stop a sin? Fill your thoughts with, meditate on God’s Word. “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Right thinking produces right living! Do you have genuine needs? God has a condition. “But seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness; and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you.” There is no other option but to FIRST obey God, unless you want to do it without God! it’s funny how we go day by day in good times without meeting God’s conditions, but at the first sign of trouble it’s, “Oh God, help me!” fortunately for us He is merciful and forgiving of our trespasses! We do not even deserve the slightest of His favors yet He showers us with goodness! “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the Judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His Goodness and Forbearance and Longsuffering; not knowing that the Goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” How many times have you eaten without thanking God for the sun and rain that made it possible? Or, for that matter, even thanking Him at all? I am guilty! Your faith motivated obedience is what pleases God. “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin, but without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him.” He is more interested in your repentance than your sin. Repentance is simply a return to obedience. Sure we feel Godly remorse and sorrow, but that isn’t repentance; obedience is repentance.
The sacrifice of my desires,
Of carnal deeds and lustful fires,
Will please my Blessed Lord above,
And keep me safely in His Love! –CGP
“A living sacrifice” is an obedient child who loves and trusts their Heavenly Father. Obedience is the evidence of faith, which is the evidence of the unseen God!
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things NOT SEEN. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through Faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:1-3 KJV