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. Romans 12:1 NLT
Paul begins the wonderful 12th chapter of Romans with a plea or in other translations the beseech, urge or appeal to you. This is something that he is very passionate about. As we yield ourselves to Him–body, soul and spirit, he goes on to say in verse two: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. NLT How comforting and challenging this is. Submitting our bodies (which is our actions) to His way helps us discover God’s will for our lives.
Paul goes on in this chapter to encourage us to use our specific gifting to strengthen the body of Christ. But in verse 9, he begins to very clearly instruct us with some strong verbs. Verbs are action words, and if we are to actually give our bodies as a sacrifice to Him, our actions will definitely be involved. The, Paul doesn’t stop there, but he adds descriptive words to emphasize how to do it! Words like genuinely, tightly, enthusiastically are inserted so we have no doubt how we are to worship the Lord.
Romans 12: 9 Don’t pretend to love others. Really love them. We need to love genuinely.
Romans 12: 9 Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. This takes discernment, doesn’t it?
Romans 12: 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. I’m not sure the body of Christ knows how to really take delight in honoring each other.
Romans 12: 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Oh, this is challenging, especially when we might be discouraged or tired. We must check our attitude!
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Adding rejoicing, being patient and not quitting our prayer during difficult times is so necessary.
Romans 12:13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. That means we must keep our eyes open to know if they are in need or not, plus be willing to be generous.
Romans 12:13 Always be eager to practice hospitality. There is that challenge–he doesn’t just say practice hospitality, but he wants us to be eager about it! This begins in our hearts. Do you let people in?
There is so many more challenges in this chapter, but I think we will stop here. Paul is pleading, beseeching and appealing to us to submit in these areas to the Lord. It is a way to honor the Lord, grow His kingdom and as he says in verse one, truly worship the Lord. Dear ones, let us joyfully take on these verbs.
Father, I thank you for helping us choose to submit daily to giving our bodies (our actions) to you. You deserve our worship in this way. Please help us as we learn to put into action these verbs for your kingdom’s sake. Open our eyes where we are pretending to love, teach us to really love. In Jesus’ Name, amen.