Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed 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.
Our pastor has been preaching through Romans. It has been so good. I think if I could only have one book out of the Bible, I’d pick Romans. I could read every day about what a wretched sinner I am (Romans 1 and 3), how God chose to save me through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-25, 5:8, 10:9), that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1), and that NOTHING can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).
Last Sunday, we arrived at Romans 12. The big “Therefore . . . ” News as fabulous and life-changing as the Gospel requires a response. And Romans 12 tells us that our response of gratitude for what God has done for us is to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice and be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
I’ve been thinking about these verses for a few days now and pondering how my mind needs some renewal. When I first found out that I was cancer-free and finished with treatment, I was overflowing with joy. Anyone who asked how I was doing would get an earful about all the wonderful things God had done.
But as time goes on, discontentment and anxiety start to creep in. I stop being thrilled to have hair and start to envy the long, beautiful hair of others. I look around me and feel jealous of those who don’t have to go to Houston every three months for a CT scan, who don’t have to think about cancer returning, and who blissfully assume they will hold their grandchildren someday. I start to hold on tightly to my own plans instead of being thankful for today and trusting tomorrow to the Lord because He knows best.
I hate sin. It is so ugly. Especially mine.
When I read, “offer your bodies as living sacrifices,” it sounds like I need to give myself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to the One who created me and His perfect will. I need to say, “God, because I have received your mercy and grace in Christ, I know You are good and Your ways are perfect. You can let this body be devoured by cancer or live 50 more years–whatever brings more glory to Your name.” Do I have the courage to say that? Some days I don’t, some days I do–only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
To offer my body as a living sacrifice, I need my mind to be renewed. I’ve decided that when those envious or anxious thoughts creep in, I will focus my mind on something God has done to show His faithfulness to me, especially during my 9-month-long cancer battle. I will choose not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed, so I can proclaim that God’s will is indeed good, pleasing and perfect.
To God be the glory.Share