Posts Tagged ‘living sacrifice’

As for me and my house

November 8, 2016

Joshua 24v15

The Verse of the Day for November 8, 2016 comes from the Old Testament where Joshua makes a bold declaration to the Children of Israel:

Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Take a look at this rendering in the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

Joshua 24:15

But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshipped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

In a recent blog post I noted that just as the question was raised by Joshua when he confronted the Israelites, as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, so the question is raised to believers today, “Whom are you going to serve or worship this day?”

Paul speaks of offering our bodies as “a living sacrifice.”

Romans 12:1 (NLT):

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him

The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “. . . which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” Indeed, we can now clearly see that service is worship, and worship is service.

Here is an expression our heart’s desire to worship and serve the Lord, as we present ourselves as a living sacrifice and offer ourselves and say:

At Your Service

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Remember that the Lord will give
you an inheritance as your reward,
and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

At your service, we will gladly do all that you ask,
It does not matter how great or small may be the task.
We are not forced to serve you; we could choose to refrain,
But when we give, it is never totally in vain.
If we perform this service, then what will we receive?
Blessings so much greater than all that we can conceive.
To serve you with all that lies within us, as we should,
As Christ poured out his life’s to achieve a far greater good.
Since you ask us, yes, we are willing to pay the price.
We will go to the limit and make the sacrifice
To follow in the steps of Jesus, our Lord, all of our days,
To offer our very lives, as we consider our ways.
Our lives of devoted service forge a legacy
To inspire others as we fulfill our destiny.

We conclude our comments with Ron Kenoly singing a song based on the Verse of the Day: “As for Me and My House.”

To serve is to worship

October 29, 2016

romans-12-1-2

The Verse of the Day for October 29, 2016 mentions a “living sacrifice,” a concept presented in Romans 12:1

[A Living Sacrifice to God] And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

Paul speaks of offering our bodies as “a living sacrifice,” which is our reasonable service, or as the Amplified Bible puts it: “which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” Indeed, service equals worship.

These two concepts also merge in the Old Testament where Joshua asks questions and makes a bold declaration to the Children of Israel.  The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Joshua 24:15 (NLT)

15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Notice this rendering in the Holman Christian Standard:

Joshua 24:15

But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshipped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

Each day God sets before us the choice: will we choose the path that leads to life everlasting, as we choose to follow the Lord and serve only Him? Or will we choose the path that leads to destruction and choose to serve other gods?

I recall a popular song from the seventies in which the inimitable Bob Dylan made a profound statement that “You got to serve somebody . . . it may be the Devil, it may be the Lord, but you got to serve somebody.” Just as the question was raised by Joshua when he confronted the Israelites, as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, so the question is raised to believers today, “Whom are you going to serve or worship this day?”

The lyrics to the following song express our heart’s desire to worship and serve the Lord. These two synonymous and interchangeable words are embodied in David, a devoted servant with a passion for worship. This is our prayer:

 Lord, give us a heart like David,

A man after your own heart.

Purify our motives and intentions,

Cleanse us and set us apart.

Lord, give us a heart like David.

Lord, give us a heart like David.

 

 

Lord, give us a heart to serve you,

With all our heart, completely;

To follow in the footsteps of Jesus,

As we serve you faithfully.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.

 

 

Lord, give us a heart of worship,

Overflowing with your praise.

May our words and our deeds give you glory.

May we serve you all of our days.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.

Lord, give us a heart of worship.

We close with a musical rendering: Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics)

Romans 12:1: a living sacrifice

October 29, 2014

Romans-12-1-2The Verse of the Day for October 29, 2014 is found in Romans 12: 1. Verses 1 and 2 became the focal point of a blog entry posted two weeks ago, which is revised and re-posted below. The topic of the passage relates to “renewing the mind: an ongoing process.” Two weeks later, we are still in the process of renewing our minds, and so it will be until Christ returns when we shall experience the ultimate transformation.

The Amplified Bible offers this expanded rendering of Romans 12:1-2:

1I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

This passage brings to mind the process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo, reminding us of a similar spiritual process called “renewing the mind.” Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1). The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are also “changed” into the same image.

Blue longwing butterflyButterflies as they undergo metamorphosis are transformed from egg to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) to butterfly (adult). Christian believers also continually undergo a similar spiritual transformation as they mature in Christ. The essence of this amazing process is expressed in this poem:

Death to the Caterpillar

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat

falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;

but if it dies, it produces much grain.

John 12:24

 

What is death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly.

— Anonymous

From the dark of earth new life stems from seeds once sown.

Despite the pain of loss and our questioning why,

From the source of life this eternal truth is shown:

“Death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly.”

Creation travails until the sons of God appear;

No longer conformed, we have at last been set free,

As every Kingdom mystery is now made clear,

Totally transformed into glorious liberty.

Triumphant in the race we desired to win:

From victory to victory and glory to glory,

We see that power to change comes from within,

As we write another chapter of our life’s story.

The final stage of glory unfolds this result:

Transformed from egg to larva to pupa to adult.

The accompanying video shows a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

The Verse of the Day reminds us that as we renew our minds, we prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Listen to the Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics).

1 Peter 3:15-16: Be holy

January 10, 2014

1-Peter-1-15-16

The Verse of the Day for January 10, 2014 comes from 1 Peter 1:15-16:

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (King James Version)

Exactly what does it mean to be holy? To be holy is to be separated, set apart, sanctified, and dedicated to the glory of God.  In the Old Testament the animals that were to be sacrificed and the vessels that were to be used were separated and set apart for the service of God in the Temple. In a similar manner, as believers we separate ourselves and make a commitment to be holy in our conduct and manner of living, in everything we do. We are to live our lives in holiness that we might be pleasing unto God who commands that we be holy.

Paul speaks of the believer’s former position prior to Christ in light of how one should conduct oneself after accepting Christ as savior:

Romans 6:19

Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy (New Living Translation).

A similar exhortation is found in 2 Corinthians 7:1:

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we endeavor to follow the way of wisdom and pursue the path of holiness. We seek to please God, and God is pleased when we strive to live in holiness, separating ourselves from evil, from the uncleanliness that infects the world. We are reminded of our desire to be vessels that are set apart for the glory of God.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

The New Living Translation expresses the ultimate desire of God, the Father, that believers by their freedom of will choose to become a “living and holy sacrifice” unto God:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

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 learn to know God’s will for you,which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)

Romans 12:2 brings to mind the process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo, reminding us of a similar spiritual process called “renewing the mind.” Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2). The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are also “changed” into the same image

Butterflies as they undergo metamorphosis are transformed from egg to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) to butterfly (adult). Christian believers also continually undergo a similar spiritual transformation as they mature in Christ. All of this can be viewed as a conscious effort to be holy, as the Verse of the Day commands us.

An old familiar hymn reminds us of the commitment that it takes to live in holiness: we must “Take Time to be Holy”: