Summary: What is the most necessary thing if you are going to DISCIPLE Christians?
TEXT: Romans 12:1-2
Today I am preaching from a text that I have used before. But I am preaching a message, coming from an angle… from which I have never looked at this passage before.
In fact, it started out to be one sermon, but as I worked on it, as the Holy Spirit worked on me… it morphed, changed, transformed into something entirely different.
Today I am not preaching a sermon… I am delivering a message that God has put on my heart.
I know it will not be well received… by some. In fact, I fully expect to get in some trouble with this sermon.
Not because I will say anything wrong… but because this sermon will be like a mirror, telling the truth, and some people will not like the truth
Turn with me to Romans 12:1-2, & listen to these words from the Apostle Paul:
“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy & pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test & approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing & perfect will.”
What is the first thing Paul urges Christians to do?
OFFER YOUR BODIES AS LIVING SACRIFICES
What is the most important thing you need if you are going to feed the poor… clothe the naked… give a cup of cold water to the thirsty… etc?
Food… clothes… water… right??
The first thing you need is… BODIES!!!
Hands, feet, mouths, backs… BODIES
You need FEET to GO get the food
BACKS to CARRY the food… in and out
HANDS to BOX the food and give it away
HANDS to hang the clothes on hangers to give away
What is the most necessary thing if you are going to DISCIPLE Christians?
Bibles, books, lessons
WRONG!!! YOU NEED BODIES
You need FEET to go to those who need to be disciple
MOUTHS to teach the lessons
ARMS to carry the books
HEARTS to share with them
What is the most necessary things if you are going to evangelize?
I know you know… BODIES!!!
You need FEET to GO ye therefore
MOUTHS to Teach all nations
HANDS to BAPTIZE in the name of the …
MINDS to produce materials to teach them to observe all things
WALLETS to supply the materials
BODIES to go to the ends of the earth
The first step is to OFFER YOUR BODIES AS LIVING SACRIFICES
Sacrifice YOUR time… YOUR money… YOUR comfort
A living sacrifice is sacrificing watching your favorite show
So you can present your bodies
That sounds unreasonable to some of you
You don’t think God expects sacrifices today
God calls it “your reasonable service.”
Reasonable = makes sense… sounds right… logical
So the scripture says it is NOT ILLOGICAL or expecting too much that you would SACRIFICE… give up… go without things in your service to God.
In fact… it is perfectly logical
So with that in mind, let me ask some questions…
What did you sacrifice for God this week? Where did you feel the pain of loss or self-denial?
Perhaps you sacrificed the comfort of your couch and enjoying TV so you could attend church on Wednesday or Sunday night!
Perhaps you gave up your time so you could help with the food distribution!
Maybe you sacrificed some item you wanted to buy or place you wanted to go so you could give your tithe… or contribute to some benevolent cause!
Maybe you gave up an evening at home or going out to eat so you could come and help with the VBS workday!
Maybe you gave up part of your Sunday afternoon to come to choir practice!
Where did you sacrifice for God this past week? Where did you feel the pain? What did you give up?
Some of you are still saying, “That is not necessary, not reasonable, not logical.”
But God is saying, “It makes perfectly good sense to me.”
If it does not make good sense to you too… listen to verse 1 “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy…”
Paul is saying, “Now if you have trouble seeing why it is reasonable, let me suggest that you take a long, hard look at Jesus.
Look at the baby in the manger… What do you see?
SACRIFICE Jesus left the splendor of heaven, gave it up
Look at his HOUSE NONE--- gave it up… for you
His clothes 1 outfit--- gave it up… for you
WALLET empty --- sacrificed things of the world
Look at his BEATING Flogging, scourge
Look at the CROSS Dying, ultimate sacrifice