“Therefore, I urge you, brother and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform and longer to the pattern of this world, but rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2a).
Romans 12 is one of those “go to” places for me. There are others, but these wonderful words from the Apostle speak volumes.
This passage serves as a mantra of sorts for us as believers. That we would life our lives for Christ. That we would be those who are “living sacrifices.” Those who die to self so that we might live for Him. We are called to holy living. To a way of life that is “pleasing to God.” In fact, Paul says that our lives are worship. Worship is not confined to those moments where we gather together as a community of faith and worship our Father together, but rather, the totality of our life and being is worship. We’re not to “conform to the pattern of this world,” we’re to be “transformed,” changed into that which is wholly and holy different, by the “renewing of our minds.”
What we must not over look is where this holy way of life comes from. “In view of God’s mercy.” You see our holy living is that which grows out of the mercy that we have each been shown (and are continually shown) through the Gospel of Jesus.
We waver in our faith. Oh not necessarily in our belief in God as God or Christ as our Salvation. But we falter in our faithfulness. I wonder at times if it isn’t because of a failure to constantly, consciously consider God’s mercy. There must be gratitude in order for there to be faith. Abiding faith at least. Trusting in the One who has revealed His wonder to us in the message of Christ.
Tiersa and I were at Faulkner Park the other day with the boys. Kacey had softball practice at the fields right around the corner from the playground, so while Kacey was doing her thing, Tiersa and I sat on a bench and the boys spent some of their energy. There was a young father there with his two girls. One was around 18 months and the other was about three years old. In the middle of the playground at Faulkner Park there is this huge, synthetic rock that is designed for climbing. It’s made for kids to climb on. It’s only about five feet high, but to that three year old little girl it looked like Mt. Everest. Slowly, carefully she made her way to the top. But once up there, she vapor-locked. Her dad wanted her to jump to him. He assured her it was safe. But she could barely bring herself to stand and was way too terrified to jump. He assured her it was going to be alright. He promised her he’d catch her. And finally, after some more coaching, she didn’t exactly jump, but she sort of leaned forward enough from the edge that she fell into his arms. It was a neat moment. But that was only the beginning. After that, she was good to go! There was no more fear. She’d get to the top of the rock and leap to her father. After a couple of times her confidence was such that she was jumping as high as she could, giggling the entire time. Why? She trusted her father to catch her.
The call of the Gospel is to jump to our Father and to trust Him to catch us. As we journey through life and as we mature as believers we learn to trust Him more and more. Caution-thrown-to-the-wind faith is what our Father is looking for.
May the wonder of the Gospel and the mercy we have been shown never be lost on us….
Glory to God!