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Summary: The option isn’t whether we will conform; rather, the choice is to whom will we conform.

Sacrificial living.

Rom. 12:1 -- 8. 09/14/03

Paul spent the first 11 chapters of this book telling us that we can be saved by the grace of God through faith. He told how that God sent his son into the world to die on the cross for our sins. I pray that I have made that plain through the first 11 chapters. How that we have the opportunity of coming to Jesus and having our sins forgiven. I hope that you have done that. I hope that you have trusted Jesus to be your personal savior.

Now in the closing part of this letter Paul tells us how that we can live for God through Jesus. In all that God has done for us, how can we respond in a way that is pleasing to him?

Now I want to you, to put these directions in motion means going against the flow of society. Still God doesn’t hesitate to confront us with a choice. The option isn’t whether we will conform; rather, the choice is to whom will we conform. Will our lives follow the pattern of this world are God’s pattern?

Now what we have this morning in our text are components of God’s pattern.

First of all sacrificial living is A CONSCIENCE DECISION. Look at verse 1.

I suppose that you are already aware that wherever your head goes, the rest of your body follows. To go against the flow of society is a head decision. The world is full of temptation and sins. Paul gives us some incentives to motivate us not to live as the world but ways that are pleasing to God the father. So he says brothers and sisters, because of God’s great compassion on you in offering salvation through Jesus, we ought to please God in our daily lives. We ought to present, yield our bodies, a living sacrifice. Our bodies are all we have to offer because we live in them. Tied up in your body and mine are all our emotions, our mind, our thoughts, our desires and our plans. If our body is at God’s disposal, he will have our free time, our pleasures and all our behavior.

God wants us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. That means daily laying aside our own desires to follow him in putting our bodies at his disposal and trusting him to guide us. To be completely set apart for God and dedicated to his service. Listen! If we aren’t set apart from our old life, then we are no use to God.

Sacrificial living is not only a conscience decision but also A CHANGED DISPOSITION. Look at verse is 2 -- 3.

When believers offer their entire self to God, a change will happen in their relation to the world. We are called to a different lifestyle than what the world offers with our behavior and customs.

Now I want to tell you the main problem with a living sacrifice and that is it keeps crawling off the altar. Believers come to the altar and say Lord I want to be more for you. I want from this day to be a better witness, to be a living testimony for you. Then the following Sunday ask themselves where did I lay my Bible down last Sunday?

Do you know the difference in a strong cup of tea and a weak cup of tea? The same ingredients water and tea are used for both. The difference is that the strong cup of tea results from staying in the steaming water longer. In the same way, the longer we stay in the word of God, determines how deeply the word gets into us, the stronger we become.

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