“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”Romans 12:1
When a passage begins with “therefore,” we need to look at what it is there for. Paul is referring to the past chapters in Romans about salvation being for both Jew and Gentile and being a matter of God having mercy on whom He will have mercy. The only proper response to this mercy is worship.
Paul gives us an expanded understanding of that. It begins with offering ourselves unreservedly to Christ, followed by service to His people according to our gifts. It may never have occurred to you that part of how you worship God has been found in the help you lent your next-door neighbor, the time you gave volunteering at the crisis pregnancy center, the listening ear you offered to the troubled teenager.
There are very practical implications that come from the position we have in Christ. We are to offer ourselves unreservedly to Him, put away the world’s way of thinking and be in agreement with God’s Word. Let’s serve others with the gifts God has given us, willingly sacrificing in light of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
May the mind of Christ my Savior/ live in me from day to day,/ By His love and pow’r controlling/ all I do and say. (Kate B. Wilkinson, 1925)