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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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let's take this one step at a time for these are hard sayings which are so easy to pass over but so desperately need to be taken to heart if we are to be serious in our pursuit of righteousness. First of all lets break it down a little to what this little two verse section is asking of us.
? Present your bodies as living sacrifices
? Do not be conformed to this world
? Be transformed by the renewal of your mind
? Discern what is the will of God
Well that looks easy doesn't it, only four things, yet look at them, present your body as a sacrifice? What! Don't be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind? What; that all about? Discern what is the will of God, that sounds like a tough thing to do. Before we get all dejected and move on to more comfortable terrain lets just read through it slow and steady and see what we can dig up.
Present you bodies as a living sacrifice. Ouch, a sacrifice was no easy or comfortable thing to be, rather it was something destroyed for the sake of saving something else. Yet we are not called to destroy our bodies but rather to present them as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. So, regardless of exactly what that is, the end goal is spiritual worship. So we must learn how to sacrifice our bodies yet not cause them to stop living, and do that in a holy and acceptable way. Wait though, perhaps we do not fully understand the meaning of sacrifice. Think about it, if I put my best sheep on an alter of stone and cut it up, burn it up, and praise the Lord what have I done? I most certainly have sacrificed my best sheep but why? Because that sheep was not as important to me as my relationship with the Lord. I killed my best sheep to show the Lord that a right standing before Him was more important to me then keeping my best sheep. It never meant merely just burning up my sheep on stones for the sake of keeping a law or doing it because it was the "thing" to do but because I love God so much. Take that to this verse and see how it applies. Present your bodies in such a way to God as to say "I don't love myself as much as I love You Lord. My comfort, my ease, my bank account, my satisfaction, my joy, indeed all of me Lord is on a lower standing then You and my relationship with You. You mean more to me then all of these and gladly would I give each and every one up before I gave You up.
1 Samuel 15:22
And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
That's an easy thing to say but so hard to live out. How does your life say to God that He's the most important thing to you? Take a look at the world and the things they are sacrificing themselves for. Take a look at the broken families with full bank accounts, take a look at the prisons and the thriving drug rings. Then take a look back at home, how does your life show your commitment to Christ as Supreme Lord of your life? Are you spending extra time at work or at home? Where is your free time going? Your free money? Don't assume anything, we need to begin thinking through what we're doing and why. If we're going to march under the banners of Christ and wait anxiously for our rapture into Heaven we're going to need to take a closer look at what the followers of Christ do. Many are marching to heaven, but all to many are marching in the wrong direction.
This leads very nicely right into points 2 and 3 of this section. "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind."
The first thing I see by reading through this is that by default we are conformed to this world, we are worldly. That's a tough mold to break out of, yet by God's grace once we are saved, we are out and have begun a transformation. It's interesting to me that the mind is what is transformed. Its not the heart, its not the soul, its not your actions, its your mind. Why? Because that's where the mold of the world is. Its in the world, its the world that says you want to get rich and retire early, its the world that says if your not happy with the way things are, change them, change your job, change your house, your car, your wife. Life is about the here and now, enjoy it, live in it, and don't worry. This is the thinking which we need to be transformed from, the mindset that life is all about me, about my happiness, my satisfaction in the here and now. We were made with an eternal soul, a
Getting a quick nap in while her hair gets done. Nearly all the pics I took of Janelle her eyes are open, but I wanted a pic to show off her cool eye shadow. And her hair was seriously amazing, it was honestly beautifully done. You should check out some of David's pics for a better look!!
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I'm really impressed with the ISO setting, but I think once I get back to the reception pictures I'm going to be disappointed. But at least now I know with moderate lighting ISO 800 works, but in settings where people are moving around I need to figure that out.
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