Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…. – Romans 12:1-2a (NIV)
A very common Scripture preached fairly often by Pastors worldwide, but what does it really mean?
Do you allow your mind to be influenced by the world? What about others? Do you listen to what they say, what they do? Do you watch endless amounts of TV, or spend hours on Facebook, watching the latest comical routine or pet blooper videos? Do you allow TV commercials to influence your actions and tempt you into buying needless “things?”
We all have weaknesses when it comes to being influenced, even by our best friends. So how do we combat these weaknesses without offending others? I think it’s a fine line between being political and being cordial. Yet, God’s Word tells us very specifically that we must not be conformed to this world.
Paul further appeals to us, saying to “present our bodies as a LIVING sacrifice” (emphasis mine).
It’s one thing to not be conformed to the world, it’s purely another to LIVE as a sacrifice for God.
So how do we do this? First of all, I think it’s important to note that God does not want robots in this world. He did not create us all alike, and did not program us to be identical in any manner whatsoever. He does not force us to all be the next Billy Graham, John Wesley, Rick Warren, or Martin Luther.
That’s a good thing. He gave each of us unique gits:
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
How will you live your life? Will you use God’s gifts as a living sacrifice to and FOR Him?