Summary: Surrendering your life to God is the way to blessings. How can we do it? (1) Get rid of false assumptions; (2) believe God has your best in mind, and (3) look at what you get, not what you lose.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 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 and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Paul spent 11 chapters writing about the salvation we have received in Christ.
• Chapters 1-3 talks about man’s problem, 4-5 God’s solution, 6-8 God’s provision (sanctification) and 9-11 God’s faithfulness (Lord of our lives).
• Some of you are going through Romans in SS. It is a difficult book but rich in theology. You’ll be very assured of your salvation in Christ.
Paul then ends the last part of this book – chapters 12-16 - with practical applications.
• He answers the question: So what does it mean for us today!
• What is the rightful and appropriate response to such a salvation?
And his first line of application is: Offer your bodies as living sacrifices to God!
• In view of God’s mercy (having seen all that God has done for us) – he says, offer your lives to Him. This is your spiritual act of worship (reasonable, rational service).
• Giving of your life to God is an ACT OF WORSHIP.
• He says, WORSHIP HIM! Not just with our lips, but with our lives. The best worship of God is a living worship – the dedication of our lives to God!
Worship is not a 2-hour event. It is a lifestyle; it’s a dedication of our life to God.
• This is what He delights in MOST – that which is holy and pleasing to God.
• Today I want to talk about SURRENDERING to God. This is what we must reasonably do.
• We are called to “hang over” the rulership (Lordship) of this life to Him. This is the way to a blessed and fruitful life.
• We do this by a simple prayer – acknowledging Him as Lord (not just Saviour). This change of mindset will open the floodgates to God’s blessings in your life.
First, I like to talk about the obstacle that is stopping many Christians from offering their lives to God.
• Why is it so hard to surrender to God? How can we offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God?
(1) GET RID OF FALSE ASSUMPTIONS
We have gotten a wrong understanding of what it means to have Jesus as our Lord.
• We are afraid that life will become miserable, that we’re going to lose our freedom; we can no longer do what we like to do; we are enslaved by someone more superior.
• We assume that by surrendering to Him, it would mean the end of a happy life. “I wanted to marry this girl but God directs me to someone else; or worst still, to someone ugly whom I do not like. Or God ask me to quit doing all the fun things in life and send me to some strange land to share the Gospel. He is the boss; I’ve no choice.”
• These are all false assumptions. We have not lost our freedom at any point. We feel that way because of a flawed understanding of our relationship with God.
Why would God make life miserable for us? False assumptions create mistrust and fears.
• Paul says, “in view of God’s mercy” (by the mercies of God) – if you truly understand Him and what He has done for you (Rom 1-11), then you’ll want to WORSHIP HIM by offering your lives to Him.
• What will motivate you to do that – the MERCIES of God! That’s our motivation!
And so if we are struggling to submit to Him and make Him Lord, it is because we do not know Him enough. False assumptions come from ignorance.
• Paul says in the next line, we need to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” so that we will know His good, pleasing and perfect will. GET TO KNOW HIM MORE!
(2) BELIEVE GOD HAS YOUR BEST IN MIND
God does not “suggest” a good idea; He KNOWS it. God does not come to you and suggest a good plan. He KNOWS it as a matter of FACT.
• It is not easy for us to believe that His will is “good, pleasing and perfect”.
• Do you believe God has your best in mind? Do you believe that God is good to you?
Pastor Chip Ingram shares this testimony. As a young Christian, he was once invited by a young couple to their house for dinner: