One of my favorite sayings is, “We have to start from where we are, not from where we wish we were.” This is true for every area of life. We might say we want to quit doing something that we know God doesn’t like, but first we have to admit that we actually like doing it. We might wish things were different in our relationships, but in order to affect real and lasting changes, we must admit that we might be doing something wrong on our side of it. Today’s passage from the book of Romans can help us with this, so let’s listen to it:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
Paul begins today's passage by saying, “I appeal to you brothers by the mercies of God.” JB Phillips’ translation says it this way: “With eyes wide open to the mercies of God.” Paul says that understanding God’s mercies is the context, or basis, for presenting ourselves to him as a sacrifice. God’s mercy must be our starting point! As the late pastor and theologian RC Sproul used to say, “We cannot appreciate the Good News until we understand the bad news.” OK, what are God’s mercies towards us? Here are a few. He has forgiven our sin and has removed sin’s dominion over us. He has healed and delivered us from demonic oppression. He has adopted us into His family and made us His very own children. He has given us eternal life. Because of these mercies, we offer ourselves in sacrificial worship to Him. We present our bodies, not just our hearts, because God doesn’t just want our hearts; He wants the rest of our bodies, too! How about you? Have you experienced God’s mercies in your life?
Thank Him for all of those mercies today…and then go use your hands and feet to serve Him!