Summary: This sermon was delivered the Sunday before Thanksgiving and uses Romans 12:1-2 to remind the church that our thankfulness to God ought to control our lives everyday and not just on Thanksgiving. Audio from the sermon can be found on www.reelchruch.com
Key Verse: Romans 12:1-2 (Pew Bibles Page 837)
I’m told of a turkey farmer who was always experimenting with breeding to perfect a better turkey. His family was fond of the leg portion for dinner and there were never enough legs for everyone. After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was relating the results of his efforts to his friends at the general store get together. "Well I finally did it! I bred a turkey that has 6 legs!" They all asked the farmer how it tasted. "I don’t know," said the farmer. "I never could catch the darn thing!"
We celebrate thanksgiving this week at the expense of all the slower turkeys out there. This time of the year seems so busy and it is nice to stop and thank God for what He has given us as Americans and as Christians, but even on Thanksgiving do we really stop to thank God for all that He has given us or are we more like the little boy who was given an orange by a man. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.”
The reality is, we are a lot like this boy toward God, we don’t truly appreciate what He has done for us and what he has given us; so we spend a lot more time saying “peel it” to God than we do saying “thank you”.
This morning we are going to take a look at Romans 12:1-2 and as we explore this text we are going to find that every day in our lives ought to be thanksgiving.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
First we need to remind ourselves of the foundation that Paul has been laying in the previous verses: Romans 11:33–36 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.
After finishing that thought on the greatness and majesty of God Paul turns his eyes and his pen away from praise and back toward the church with a fervent request. Paul doesn’t base this request on his authority as an apostle (which he could have done) instead he based this request solely on the mercy of God that has been extended to us as believers. What is this mercy? We will find it when we look back in the book of Romans:
We are all sinners, we have fallen short of the glory of God and in ourselves we have nothing, no righteousness, no goodness, no merit that could restore our relationship with God. Because of this shortcoming (sin) we all deserve to die and spend an eternity in torment of Hell, but God did something amazing. God in His love, in mercy and grace sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sin, to take our place and in doing that He made it possible for us to be reconciled to God and open the door for us to spend our eternity in Heaven.