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Pastor David's Thought for the Week

by Pastor David Alexander
Pastor David's Thought for the Week

For many, the first verse of Romans 12 is a familiar passage. 
 
“Therefore,” the Apostle Paul writes, “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.”
 
I know part of what we appreciate is the imagery of offering ourselves as “a living sacrifice.” We know that is not an easy way to live, but it does bring clarity to the aim of the Christian life. 
 
A Christ-centered life is seeing every moment of life as an opportunity to place ourselves, once again, on the altar with the hope that every thought, word, and deed would bring glory and honor to God. 
 
This is, “your true and proper worship.” 
 
Again, it is a verse that many know well. It is an image that clarifies our focus. 
 
But I want to encourage you to take 10 minutes today and read the rest of Romans chapter 12. It’s worth noting how Paul expresses the particular ways we apply this teaching. 
 
He highlights two virtues - which, as a quick aside, is a word we don’t talk about enough!
 
A virtue is a habitual behavior that conforms to a desired moral standard
 
Paul focuses on the virtue of humility and the virtue of love and how we live those out first and foremost in the context of our relationship with one another. 
 
Surrendering our lives to Jesus is a daily challenge, but don’t miss this! 

The primary way we surrender to Jesus is by surrendering ourselves to one another. 
 
When we read Paul’s plea in Ephesians 4:1, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received,” we should also hear the words of Jesus from John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” 
 
So while I hope you will read the rest of Romans 12 today, I want to make sure you hear these words from verse 10. Paul writes, 
 
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
 
The English Standard Version expresses the second half of verse 10 in this way. 
 
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”

In our fractured, divided and hurting world, this is a contest worthy of our highest effort. 
 
This is the way of Jesus. 
This is the heart of the Christian life. 

This is, “your true and proper worship.”