Posts Tagged ‘Romans 12:1’

As for me and my house

November 8, 2017

Joshua 24v15

For the Verse of the Day for November 8, 2017, we find our way to Joshua 24:15 in the New King James Version:

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.”

Notice 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 worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

Joshua confronts the Children of Israel as they prepare to enter the Promised Land as to whom are they going to worship: the gods of the idolatrous ethnic groups that had occupied the land that God has promised to His people or Yahweh, the true and living God.

Just as Joshua shows a relationship between serving and worshiping God, Paul also connects these concepts in Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

The New Living Translation put it this way:

[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.

A previous blog entry pointed out a popular song from the seventies where the inimitable Bob Dylan made a profound statement: “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?”

God desires that His people worship and serve only Him. From the First and Great Commandment, He clearly states “You shall have no other gods before Me” and reinforces the message throughout the Scriptures; notably 1 John also exhorts: “My little children keep yourselves from idols.” A teaching heard years ago points out that problems arise not from the idols or “Ites” that we destroy but from the “‘Ites’ that Remain,” the title of the following poem:

The ‘Ites’ that Remain

It’s not the ‘Ites’ that you destroy

that determine your victory

but the ‘Ites’ that remain.”

Apostle Eric L. Warren

 

On the verge of the final breakthrough, moving into

The Promised Land, we encounter each enemy,

And like Caleb we claim our reward and pursue

And conquer each “Ite” in spirit, soul or body.

Though fierce as the sons of Anak, the “Ites” that remain

Shall never keep us from the ultimate victory.

As we obey, we dispel these giants and gain

A more expansive view of new territory.

We must first drive out the enemy right where we live

And displace the “Ites” that hinder our progress.

We learn never to hold back but cheerfully give

To utterly destroy the idol of selfishness.

We are willing to count the cost and pay the price

And offer our body as a living sacrifice.

John Waller offers a musical rendering of the Verse of the Day expressed in “As for Me and My House”:

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)

Showing gratitude with our worship

November 26, 2015

Hebrews 12--28The Verse of the Day for November 26, 2015, Thanksgiving Day, makes reference to expressing thanks or showing gratitude:

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

In reflecting on this verse, I thought of an incident that occurred a week or so ago. Sitting in the waiting room, I observed a young child who was given a coloring book and some crayons. The child smiled and said, “Thank you.” He showed items to his mother, and she asked her son, “Did you say thank you?” The person who gave the gifts responded, “Yes, ma’am. He sure did.”

From the earliest days of childhood we are taught that when someone gives you a gift, our response should be some expression of gratitude, namely to say “Thank you.”

Jesus Christ speaks this comforting reminder to his followers:

Luke 12:32 (AMP)

Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The Verse of the Day tells us how we should respond to having received such a precious, yet powerful gift from God, our Father. We are to show ourselves grateful and “offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe.”

Romans 12:1 (AMP) has a similar exhortation:

Therefore I of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

In response to all that God has given us, as believers we must do more than merely offer “lip service” by only saying “Thank you,” but we must demonstrate our gratitude to God with more than words. We offer our lives as a living sacrifice, which is an expression of our “reasonable service,” our rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. The closing lines from the poem “Thanksliving” reiterate this truth:

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Our words seem empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

Alexander Delgado offers a song that relates this desire to express our gratitude to God: “Thankful.”

The sacrifice God desires: A living sacrifice

October 30, 2015

Romans_12-1The Verse of the Day for October 29, 2015 is taken from Romans 12:1 in the Amplified Bible:

[ Dedicated Service ] Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

Bible scholar E.W. Bullinger points out that the first time that a particular word is used in the Bible marks its significance and importance when studying the word. Such is the case with the word “worship” which is first mention in the account where Abraham prepares to take his son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah in Genesis 22:5 (Amplified Bible):

Abraham said to his servants, “Settle down and stay here with the donkey; the young man and I will go over there and worship [God], and we will come back to you.”

We are familiar with what occurs when the voice of the Lord speaks and intervenes, sparing Isaac’s life. This first usage of worship indicates that God does not desire human sacrifices. The Psalmist declares that God does not delight in sacrifice, that He is not pleased with burnt offering, but that He delights in sacrifices of righteousness (Psalm 51)

When we think of worship we recall the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. In a discussion about the place of worship, the Lord spoke these words:

John 4:23-25 (NKJV):

God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth:

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

One expression of worship involves our offering praise and thanksgiving unto God, that is the “sacrifice of praise . . . the fruit of our lips,” whereby we declare that He is worthy of our worship and adoration. The Alleluia Singers offer an illustration of this kind of worship in “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise.”

Another expression of worship involves doing or serving, as we follow God’s command and make a sacrifice to do His will, to serve Him alone. We recognize that to obey God is better than to sacrifice our lives in the same way that animals are sacrificed. God desires that each believers offer his or her life as a living sacrifice. In the closing stanza of “Stone upon Stone: A Psalm of Remembrance,” I describe twelve stones, representing milestones or accomplishments from my life over the years. In closing, I symbolically build an altar from these twelve stones and offer myself as an offering, echoing the words Romans 12:1

El–stone upon stone–Bethel–I build this altar.

In the center of this altar burns fire, white-hot

as the cloven tongues appearing at Pentecost,

a flaming fire, refueled by the oil of blessing,

this unction, anointing, ignited by the spark,

tabernacled in me twenty-six years ago;

consuming desire, empowered by the spirit,

seeking to forge with words, this joy unspeakable.

Enflamed with a new name and transformed to offer

all I am and all I ever hope to be

a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable,

a lively stone, known, read by all with eyes to see.

So I return to teach the meaning of these stones.

 El–stone upon stone I build this altar–Beth-el

A musical illustration of Romans 12:1 is “Take My Life—A Living Sacrifice”  by Chris Christian

The Verse of the Day reminds us of our “reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” Listen to the Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics:

Joshua 24:15: Whom will you worship?

November 8, 2013

Joshua 24v15

The Verse of the Day for November 8, 2013 is taken from Joshua 24:15. In this case, I found that Holman Christian Standard Bible offers another rendering that is especially meaningful:

But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped 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.”

The King James Version of Joshua 24:15 asks questions as to whom the Children of Israel will serve. In actuality, Joshua is asking whom will they worship, for to serve is to worship, and to worship is to serve. Recently my Verse of the Day blog entry focused on Romans 12:1, which 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 = worship.

I made the following comment which also has application to today’s Verse of the Day:

“Another expression of worship involves doing or serving, as we follow God’s command and make a sacrifice to do His will, to serve Him alone.”

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?” Like Joshua we also need to be resolute in our bold response, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

That commitment is powerfully expressed in this video by John Waller: “As for Me and My House:”

A living sacrifice: Expression of worship

October 29, 2013

Romans_12-1

In this case, the Amplified Bible offers this expanded rendering of the Verse of the Day for October 29, 2013:

I 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.

I recall a quote heard frequently in the early days of my realizing what it meant to accept Jesus Christ as savior and to make him Lord: “We are born to live, and born again to serve.”

Romans 12:1 reminds us that serving God is an expression of worship.  In his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus Christ in a discussion about the place of worship spoke these words:

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4: 23-24 New King James)

One expression of worship involves our offering praise and thanksgiving unto God, that is the “sacrifice of praise . . . the fruit of our lips,” whereby we declare that He is worthy of our worship and adoration. The Alleluia Singers offer an illustration of this kind of worship in “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise.”

Another expression of worship involves doing or serving, as we follow God’s command and make a sacrifice to do His will, to serve Him alone. A musical illustration of Romans 12:1 is “Take My Life—A Living Sacrifice” offered by Chris Christian:

The Verse of the Day reminds us of our “reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”  Listen to the Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics).

A New Prescription: “Medicine (For Someone Else)”—More Good Medicine

March 8, 2013
These antique medicine bottles bring to mind a song that I recently heard, bring to mind days when I "made medicine," as a pharmacist.

These antique medicine bottles bring to mind a song that I recently heard, bringing  to mind days when I “made medicine,” as a pharmacist.

Recently as I listened to a local gospel music radio station, I heard a rendition of “Medicine (For Someone Else)” performed by Ruben Studdard and The Black Academy Choir.  Described as a “comforting soul ballad,” the song brought to mind my blog “Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe,” where I thought this would make a wonderful musical prescription that I could add to the shelves of “Good Medicine.” The following excerpt from an entry posted at the beginning of last year captures the essence of what I hoped the blog would be:

During the first week of the first month of the New Year 2012, as I prepare a blog entry for Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe, I recall the early days of my first profession as a registered pharmacist. For more than 25 years I was a practicing pharmacist, but now as a writer and minister, I use my skills in poetry and prose while incorporating music and visual arts to “fill prescriptions” designed to minister to the heart and soul in this blog.

To become more faithful in blogging, I plan to post “Word for the Day: Daily Dose of Good Medicine.” I invite you to stop by and see what remedies I have been working on recently, as I continue to compound “After the Art of the Apothecary.”

To learn more about “Good Medicine” from Dr. J. click here.

Now for your listening enjoyment, here is “Medicine (For Someone Else).”

As I listened to the song again, I realize that so often seemingly adverse situations that we encounter and endure turn out to be a blessing and inspiration for others whom we provide comfort to, as the God of all comfort comforts us in all our trials:

1 Corinthians 1:3-4:

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

The lyrics to the Ruben Studdard song remind us, that as we walk in the steps of Christ we will come to realize that our lives are not really about us but about others:

Take the trials that you been through

And all the times life made you blue

Search down deep within yourself

Ooohhh make it medicine for someone else, someone else

Not too long ago, after a very stimulating discussion at a men’s meeting at our church, I was inspired to write a poem related to a distinguishing marks of manhood, described as “sacrificial living.”

Sacrificial Living: Assignment of Manhood

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.

Romans 12: 1

 

Forgetting things left behind, I press toward the mark.

The passion that now enflames my life was once a spark.

This all-consuming fire, great light dispels the dark,

As I abide in God’s presence in a place beyond the Ark.

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

Like Christ, I endure the cross while despising the shame

And accept this high calling and embrace my new name.

By grace to stand in His presence without any blame,

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

 

Always remaining aware that God is in control,

I am still running to serve as my life’s highest goal.

This zeal for God and His Word burns deep within my soul,

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

Being fully persuaded, I now know that I know

That God will fulfill His will and declare, “It is so!”

I set aside pride; where He leads me I will follow:

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

 

Looking to the future, I walk by faith, not by sight.

To do all the will of God still remains my delight

To follow Christ’s command that I should be salt and light

With sacrificial Living: assignment of manhood.

 

To speak the Word of life in all that I do and say,

To follow in the steps of Christ all along the way.

Until the final victory I must watch, fight and pray.

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good.

 

Triumphant from faith to faith and glory to glory,

I still seek God’s face in the place of my destiny.

Life continues to unfold as a scroll before me.

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

With a love so strong, yet ever so tender,

Nothing can dissuade me, nor can anything hinder.

I will hold fast to the faith and never surrender.

God’s Word hidden in my heart, I’ll always remember:

I continue to strive ever toward the highest good

With sacrificial living: assignment of manhood.

 

Hearing the song with its reference to “making medicine” along with other scriptures and conversations, I continue to be grateful for the constant reminders to live sacrificially.

Prescriptions filled in Dr. J's Apothecary Shoppe provide "Good Medicine" for those who partake.

Prescriptions filled in Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe provide “Good Medicine” for those who partake.