Sunday, July 16, 2023
by David Brenneman
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." Romans 12:1 NASB1995
Presenting is to offer up...in no partial way. Not haphazardly way. Not under our own conditions or definitions thereof.
We get this definition from the truth that Jesus is interested in our whole heart...not a part of it. Not leftovers. Not when we have spare time.
It really hit me this morning the connection to our whole heart. We live in an age of compartmentalized lives. What we see in many psychological ideologies is circles that refer to relationships. There's us, then the few closest to us is another circle. Then we add a circle of friends that overlaps differently than the one before it. Then another for various types of acquaintances. An acquaintance group at work. A different acquaintance group at possibly a church. Another could be an acquaintance group of neighbors.
We subdivide our heart by how we prioritize relationships. Some get this from how Jesus had His 12 Disciples yet had a smaller, more intimate, circle with Peter, James and John.
But the thought is that we're to always, always, always, have our whole heart with Jesus. He searches your heart and mine. All the time. 24/7, 365. No breaks. No distractions keeping Him from doing so.
We see that Jesus has said His name is Jealous. He's wanting an unwavering, undivided, relationship. When we divert our attention elsewhere because we became increasingly more interested in self...we disturb that relationship.
When it grows it becomes selfishness. When we examine our prayer requests...how much of it is really Spiritually important? Spiritually discerned? How much is it of our wanting our way? Our desires?
When we read of the children of Israel, of Judah, we read of these wrong paths in their lives. We read of what all God had to do to try to do what? Turn their hearts back to Jesus.
Our lives are not our own. We live life with the high priority of being, growing and doing what the will of God is for our lives. We do not have gifts from God to use only for ourselves.
A deeper understanding of present your bodies is to understand that He wants your all on the altar.
We mess with God's plans for healthy relationships, with healthy marriages, with healthy friendships when our all isn't on the altar.
We really do when coveting possessions, resources, is more important to us than the true will of God for us.
We cause harm to our relationship with Jesus when we insist on our own way.
When we speak harshly to others who are in Christ...out of our selfishness...we harm our relationship with Jesus.
When we listen to the wrong people and allow the devil to get a foothold in splitting up what God joined together...it's because self came before the will of God.
When our all isn't being presented as a holy sacrifice...then we actually sin against God. Read in the Bible about the QUALITY of items acceptable for burned offerings. What was acceptable by God isn't what Israel was often doing. They were also not bringing the WHOLE offering to God. In these things they were told BY GOD, that they were sinning against God.
Jesus took your place.
Jesus loves you unconditionally.
Jesus wants an intimate relationship with you.
Jesus wants to be the most important person in your life.
Have you been aggressive towards other Believers?
Have you been allowing Satan to get a foothold in your marriage because you won't follow the path that the Spirit has for you due to your impatience?
Have you put others, other things, other desires so high on your list that what God truly wants of you, for you, and in you isn't your priority?
Have you been so blinded that you haven't seen that you break His heart by destroying what He's done and is doing in your life? That you are the reason why there so much strife and uncertainty in your life? Having the wrong motivation will harm your life.
My Dear Reader...submit your whole heart your whole life, all of you on the altar to the One who put His all on the altar to save you.