If there’s anything I love, it’s studying God’s Word. My hope is that in every word I write, hearts will be pointed towards Christ. Every day of my life, I want to be found in pursuit of my King. Will you join me in that pursuit?
Romans 12:1-3 says:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
We see three key things in this passage:
1. The new life in Christ chooses to sacrifice self (verse 1)
Someone who has surrendered their life to the Lord and now has His new life inside of them begins to let go of past desires, wants, attitudes, and lifestyle and chooses to worship the Lord through sacrifice of those things instead. This choice to sacrifice is not only worship that is pleasing to God, but it is a response to His mercy that you have received (verse 1).
Have you ever felt utterly spent after a time or season of ministry or giving of yourself for another? This is because self was sacrificed. I’m reminded of a trip I took to California a little over a year ago now. I went with some close girlfriends to care for one friend in particular who had planned on getting married that weekend but had called off the wedding. There were parts of that weekend that were filled with fun and laughter simply because we were all together.
However, much of the weekend was difficult as we watched our friend grieve the loss of a dream and face the pain that her heart was going through. We wept with her, we prayed over her, and we did everything we could to just love on her in her time of great need. I did not return home after that weekend necessarily feeling refreshed and ready to face the next week. I was exhausted and emotionally drained, but that was the sacrifice that Christ was calling me to for the sake of another.
The new life in Christ will choose to sacrifice self.
2. The new life in Christ chooses transformation and a renewed mind (verse 2)
There are certainly costs to following Christ, and the process of transforming from our old self to the new life can be painful at times as we allow old ways, habits, or relationships to die, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Rejecting the world and it’s ways will cost us, but being able to discern what God’s will is makes it worth every single sacrifice.
As we allow God to renew our minds and our thinking, we begin to think like Christ would, thus living our lives with wisdom and living our lives in freedom. We truly serve an amazing God who can take our old, dirty, sinful selves and make them new in Him!
3. Finally, the new life in Christ chooses to accept who you’re not and to embrace who Christ is (verse 3).
This is not about self-loathing or worthlessness, so please don’t go there. This is about godly humility, recognizing that any good thing that comes from our lives is because of Christ and Him alone. This is about understanding that on our own, we can do nothing, but with Christ, we are more than conquerors.
We can overcome because we have new life in Him. This is our hope of glory! This is our joy and our strength: I’m not, but because Christ is, there is no mountain I can’t overcome, no trial I can’t get through, no sin that can’t be erased and forgiven. I am His and He is mine. What a promise to cling to!
- What attitudes and former lifestyle characteristics in your life need to be surrendered to God today?
- In what ways (be specific) does your mind need to be renewed? Do you respond to situations in such a way that would honor and glorify Jesus Christ?
- List as many attributes/characteristics of God that you can, and use this list to write out a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for all that God is to you.