Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1, NIV)
AS A young Christian, I got bogged down in Romans 12. I read that I have to bless those who persecute me. Okay. Maybe I can do that. I have to be patient in affliction? I'll have to work hard on that one! Faithful in prayer? I'm not sure what that means exactly . . . never be lacking in zeal? I don't have the energy to live up to that one! Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody? Hey, I can't please everybody!
Before I knew it, I was convinced that I'd never make it to heaven. The only "never" I could sign up for was never being good enough to do all the things listed. Then I reread the whole chapter. At the beginning was "in view of God's mercy." Paul was not giving us rules to keep, but he was urging a response to the gift of salvation. If we love God, we have a spirit of gratitude for His mercy, and we willingly offer ourselves in worship and in service to Him.
Sometimes we try to create another law. Sometimes we even try to enforce it! But our failure and God's righteousness make our law look silly. We live under God's love and grace. Let us show Him how truly thankful we are!
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your abundant mercy and love. May we show You, through our actions and service, how truly grateful we are. In Jesus' name. Amen.
- SUZI GRAY, Murfreesboro, Tennessee