Summary: An appeal to Christians to offer their lives as a living sacrifice.
There is a story about two New York men who had never been out of the city. They decided that they had enough of city living, so they bought a ranch down in Texas in order to live off the land like their ancestors.
The first thing they decided they needed was a mule. So they went to a neighboring rancher and asked him if he had a mule to sell. The rancher answered, “No, I’m afraid not.”
They were disappointed, but as they visited with the rancher for a few moments one of them saw some honeydew melons stacked against the barn and asked, “What are those?” The rancher, seeing that they were hopeless city slickers, decided to have some fun. “Oh,” he answered, “those are mule eggs. You take one of those eggs home and wait for it to hatch, and you’ll have a mule.” The city slickers were overjoyed at this, so they bought one of the melons and headed down the bumpy country road toward their own ranch. Suddenly they hit an especially treacherous bump, and the honeydew melon bounced out of the back of the pickup truck, hit the road, and burst open. Now, seeing in his rearview mirror what had happened, the driver turned his truck around and drove back to see if he could retrieve his mule egg.
Meanwhile a big old Texas jackrabbit came hopping by and saw this honeydew melon burst in the road. He hopped over to it and, standing in the middle of that mess, he began to eat. Now here came the two city slickers. The spied their mule egg burst open and this long-eared creature in the middle of it. One of the men shouted, “Our mule egg has hatched! Let’s get our mule.”
But seeing those two men coming toward it, the jackrabbit took off hopping in every direction with the two city fellows in hot pursuit. The two men from New York gave everything they had to catch him, but finally they could go no farther. Both men fell wearily onto the ground gasping for air while the jackrabbit hopped off into the distance. One of the men said to the other, “Well, I guess we lost our mule.” The other man nodded grimly. “Yes, but you know,” he said, “I’m not sure I wanted to plow that fast anyway.”
We could say that those two city slickers were committed to getting a mule.
Please turn to Romans 12.
1. There is an APPEAL we must APPRECIATE.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God . . ."
The word “beseech” means “to plead, to appeal, or to beg.”
The word “brethren” identifies the group to whom Paul is appealing.
It is a key principle of Bible study that when we come across the word “therefore” we should pause and see what it’s there for. In this case the “therefore” takes us back to the “mercies of God” described by Paul in the previous part of this book.
So Paul is pleading to Christians because of the mercies of God. Why? Let’s read on.
2. There is an ACT we must PRACTICE.
". . . that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God . . ."
This is the act of consecration.
The New Living Translation states, “When you think of what he [God] has done for you, is this too much to ask?”