Saturday, May 30

Because of all He has done for you

Scripture: Proverbs 16-18, Romans 12

Romans 12:1–2 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (NLT)

Romans 12:1 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (The Message)

Observation

Before Paul gets to the call (offer yourselves to God), he gives the motivation: “because of all He has done for you.”  Or “in view of God’s mercy” (NIV).  Everything that we are called to do is a response to God’s mercy, to all that God has done and is doing for us.  The initiative lies with God.  Our part is to respond.  Paul’s point is that when we truly see and understand all He has done for us, the only reasonable response is to offer Him our lives.  

I am currently reading The Crucifixion by Fleming Rutledge.  It is 600 pages of theological reflection on Jesus’ death on the cross and what He accomplished there.  In the last ⅔ of the book, she examines 8 Biblical motifs used by the New Testament authors to explain what Jesus did for us.  For example: Jesus took our place in death as our substitute; Jesus conquered our enemies—sin, Satan and death; Jesus led us out of slavery into freedom; and so on.  It’s like looking at a beautifully cut diamond from 8 directions—the light reflects differently from each.  The point is that Jesus did more than most of us realize.  Understanding what He did for us should lead to one response: to give our lives to Him without reservation.  

(Note: A more accessible and equally inspiring reflection on the meaning of Jesus’ death is The Cross of Christ, by John Stott—a great read!  I’ll be reading it again after I finish Rutledge.)

Application

When someone does something good or helpful for you, our natural tendency is to be grateful and to do something in return.  

Today, reflect on God’s mercies to you.  What has He done for you?  How has He changed your life?  Your relationships with others?  Your relationship with God?  Your eternity?  Then out of gratitude, offer your life—your everyday, ordinary life—to God as an offering.  “This is truly the way to worship Him.”

Prayer: Lord, help me to understand and appreciate Your mercies to me, and to respond with my whole life.