We read and have read Romans 12, but today I noticed something else, something more.
"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12 NASB
The context of the thoughts this morning come from a very popular passage.
"But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NASB
Reread the opening verses of Romans 12.
"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
We choose in every moment who it is we are going to serve. We choose either self or God. We choose either God's Will or our Own Will.
We either bring honor and glory to God or to ourselves.
You and I either present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God or its being presented to someone or something else. There is no middle ground.
Look again at the ministry of Jesus in teaching the Disciples. He taught that there is no middle ground. No gray area.
In recent days I was reading/hearing of a great tragedy today in which the Church is going out of its way to marry the Church with the World. To bring together both in some realistically ungodly plan to reach people. That was not and never will be God's plan to save the lost in this world. That isn't choosing wisely. To seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness is to bring the whole Gospel message to the world. To expose the darkness for what it is.
You are, since this IS a Spiritual War, either working for God or working against God in your body.
You can present yourself as a living sacrifice to only one altar.
Think about that. Think long and hard about that.
We were created to worship God. If you aren't then who or what are you giving your spiritual service of worship to?
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
If we aren't fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus then our lives are on some other altar. It means we are conforming to either Christ Jesus or the world. It really is black and white. What are you renewing your mind with? In what you are renewing it with, is it proving what the will of God is?
This is a huge reality check.
Walk through your mind's hallways and look into the rooms within you. What do you see? Are those rooms filled with things that are God honoring? Are they filled with selfish, self-centered ideas?
Walk through your thoughts of what's important to you. Are hours in front of a television constantly in your day rather than time with Jesus? Are hours and minutes spent thinking about sinful things that even you won't mention out loud?
Would you call that a God honoring life?
Useless arguments prevail in this world from within and without the Church. Jesus warned about casting your pearls before swine.
We face several types of personal tribulations. Those from God to make us more like Christ and self inflicted. We choose what's in front of us to obey. God or our own will.
Consider your ways. Consider because your only able to serve one.
Choice came as a result of the cross. After coming to Christ for salvation we are now able to live a God honoring life, but must choose to do so.
What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?
This too is from the Scriptures.
My personal crossroads in life right now is becoming clearer. If I may say it, my dreams about my life are not there, I haveno dreams left. I have already more than accomplished what I considered back in my youth to do in this life. There's things that I would like to do but they have really no place in God's plans to use me to reach people for Christ Jesus. I am still praying about my all being on the altar of my life for God.
You must choose to go to either the altar of God or the altar of self.
I pray daily for those whom I know to walk closer with Jesus today than they did yesterday. I pray for my Pastor and his Wife. I pray for family and friends. I pray for my current and former coworkers. I pray that God goes before me today so that the day is good and goes quickly. I pray for my Wife to have a good day.
Where my thoughts are is with others. I want people to know that Jesus loved them enough to die for them. Not only to die for them but He raised to life again 3 days later so that salvation could be theirs for the asking.
Personal achievements are really meaningful only for a moment. They are here and gone. What we put on the altar for God is what lasts.
Choose this day, this moment, who you are going to serve.
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