SCRIPTURE FROM: Romans 12:1-2 (TPT)
TEXT: 1 Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. 2 Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.
OBSERVATION: Two things really stand out in these verses that ultimately pleases God: (1) Paul addresses the subject of genuine worship; and (2) How we should be doing what pleases Christ, and not necessarily what the world is doing around us. Let’s open these two things up and see how they could be applied to our scenarios today.
APPLICATION: As we delve into this, I want to acknowledge that each of our lives are based on the things that are available to us, and to the culture of where we live. So I found it interesting that Paul warned us about our cultural demands. Here’s a case in point: I am a banker by trade, and the area in which I live and the one where I work, are all attracted primarily to traditional brick & mortar banking, even though many are becoming accustomed to digital banking in various ways. However, less than 2 hours away, there are certain communities that have accepted, and indeed flourish, with totally staff-less bank branches. Culture, median age of the customer-base in a specific city or area, will help drive banks to decide what type of branch to offer. I believe that we tend to think along similar lines when considering the type of church we want to attend, because we have a certain mindset about what we believe should happen at church, and what type of worship will soothe our souls. So do me a favor, if you agree with me so far, read the two verses again very slowly and deliberately. Did you notice that there was no reference to pleasing yourself, but rather that you worship in a manner that pleases God. Now think about your typical worship service. How prepared are you when you walk in the doors of a church? Before you sing the first word, pray the first prayer or open your Bible for the first time in the past week, did you stop to consider that you are standing in awe of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords? Have you considered the awesome gifts and blessings that He passed on to you since you last worshipped Him? Are you truly prepared to worship the Majestic King of the ages, the One who gave His very life to satisfy your sins? In your prior life you may have paid close attention to what friends, or the rich and famous do, but in accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior to Scripture says that Jesus will direct your paths, and that He will transform your life into something new. I believe that means more humble than ever before, more loving, more kind, more forgiving and more identifiable with Jesus, than with anyone or anything in this world. Friends, this is the type Christian that will get the attention of our lost world. For they are looking for someone who looks, sounds and acts like Jesus and not imitators of anything this world has to offer. This type of life is not something you learn at college, or you see on the street, or you study about at home. A Jesus-filled life happens because of your relationship with Jesus. He directs your heart, your ways, your thoughts and your inner person, and from this you express yourself to others. How are you doing on that friend?
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for Your timely reminders on how we are to worship You and to also be conscious about how we represent You in our daily lives. Lord, I believe that if You’re in us, then You will come out of us through our speech, our actions, our desire to win the lost and our care and concern for others. Please work in our lives today dear Lord, and may we do our part in offering ourselves as living sacrifices for Your glory, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!