Saturday, October 7, 2017

October 8, 2017

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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. "  Romans 12:1-2

We - the people of God, His prized and movable treasures - are the "living sacrifices" God uses to advance His kingdom on earth. But what kinds of "living sacrifices" does a kingdom person make to God?

Our Bodies - "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. As you continue to read through Romans 12 , you will discover the Apostle Paul is not only talking about the purity of our personal bodies but also the united sacrifices made by the body of believers, the church. By offering back to Him all the physical abilities and spiritual gifts He has given to us - as individuals and as churches - we fulfill a major part of our priestly duty

Our Worship - "Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name." Hebrews 13:15. Have you ever thought about worship as being a priestly sacrifice you can offer to God? This perspective should arrest your attention the next time you approach worship halfheartedly. True worship occurs when we focus on God as the object of our praise and adoration.

Our Service - "Don't neglect to do good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices." Hebrews 13:16. By actively planning to be thoughtful, watchful, caring, and compassionate, we meet the needs of those around us and please our Father at the same time.

Our Witness - Paul talked about being a "priest of God's good news." with His purpose being that "the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable" as a result of receiving God's salvation Romans 15:16. He saw his sharing of the gospel message as a stewardship, an act of priestly service and obedience a way to help others experience the joy of Christ's presence and acceptance.

Worship, service, witness - three ways to love God and love others. You can show you love for of this week by worshiping Him and being His movable possession as you tell others about God's love.

October 7, 2017

Many writers have offered numerous suggestions on how we can achieve purity of heart and soul. Some people read these books looking for a simple formula, hoping to find a low-commitment path to holiness.

It's kind of like dieting. The experts lead us from fad to fad, creating as many side effects as they do success stories. But basically it always boils down to this: to lose weight, eat less and exercise more. It's a fairly simple formula.

For those who may be looking for simple steps to holiness, I'll give you just one: we experience holiness by being obedient to the Lord. This is because partial obedience is total disobedience. Delayed obedience is present-tense disobedience. Thus, full obedience is the only cure for disobedience.

I Know that many people today - many Christians, in fact - do not live consistently be the teachings of God's Word. Truth is, we all face a daily struggle to let His truth capture our affections and control our behavior. But obedience is the only proper response for a kingdom person.

Why obey? Because He has redeemed us. "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,"  Titus 2:11-12

Why obey? Because He is holy. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” I Peter 1:15-16

Why obey? Because this is His purpose for us. "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today;" Deuteronomy 11:26-27

Obedience opens the floodgate for blessing, which enables us to be a blessing to others!