Summary: Challenge of Commitment
The last time I spoke with you if you remember I used Romans 12:1-2 as my text and since then I have been really struggling with exactly what this text means to me.
Let me read it to you again and I want you to pay attention to what it says.
And so dear Christian friends,
I plead with you to give your bodies to God.
Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept.
When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
But let God Transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will know what God wants you to do,
And you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
Paul pleads with his friends, based on God’s mercy,
To lovingly surrender themselves to the Lord.
He urges them to respond in four ways:
1. Presentation: we are to present our bodies to God as living sacrifices.(v.1)
2. Separation: We are to avoid conforming to the way of the world (v.2).
3. Transformation: We are to renew our minds and thus change our lives (v.2)
4. Demonstration: We are to prove we belong to god by doing his will (v.2).
God wants us to love him so much that we turn form the life or lifestyle that we are currently living and follow him.
He want us to love him so much that if Jesus were to walk into this room at this very moment and said come and follow me—we would be willing to get up and go with him without any hesitation or remorse.
Think about it for a moment. If we cannot do that or we are unwilling to do that—then we need to reevaluate our priorities.
Presenting ourselves before God as living sacrifices is more than a decision it is a commitment!
It is a conscious and loving choice we make to walk by faith and not by sight—when we accept Christ as our savior.
One of the reasons Jesus was such a great leader was because he was driven by his own values- his own beliefs and his own convictions.
Having been raised in a Christian home and taught Christian values, Jesus’ relationship with God was built on a solid foundation and nothing humankind did or could do was able to shake him or deter him from his number one priority in life—which was to serve God in Heaven.
He separated himself from the world by not conforming to the ways of the world.
He walked and lived among sinners but he did not allow their wickedness to rub off on him.
Jesus’ faith was solid because it was built on the rock of salvation and the promises of God found in the Holy Scripture.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:24: “anyone who listens to my teachings and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds his house on a solid rock. 25) though the rain comes in torrents and the flood waters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on a solid rock.”
Let me ask you. What is your faith built on?
Do you bend back and forth depending which way the crowd goes or do you stand firm in the face of adversity and rely on God to see you through?
When we say “yes” to Jesus and “no” to the ways of the world, we are one step closer to being able to present our bodies to God as living sacrifices.
Transformation is the complete changing of our hearts and minds. When we read God’s word and meditate on what it means to us….
When we honestly and sincerely open our hearts and minds and willingly invite Christ to change us, “he does.”
Transformation begins on the inside not the outside.
This is where some people blow it.
They try to do the thing that they think god wants without any inward change.
They begin volunteering and serving the church but their hearts and minds are still living in the world.
It’s like Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
We cannot be obedient to two opposing lifestyles.
We cannot present our bodies to God while we are still holding on to those things in the world that tend to still our loyalty and devotion away from God.
We have to make a choice to follow one or the other.
When we choose to follow Jesus others will know if we are sincere based on how we live our lives.