Present Your Bodies
If ever there was abundant evidence of an intelligent Creator and a Designer, it is in the human body. Have you ever given much thought to the beauty of the body’s complexity, with a heart inexplicably beating more than 115,000 times a day to pump life-sustaining blood throughout every cell of this mean machine we inhabit here on earth? It’s a gift from God, for sure. But the body’s real power is not just in any physical strength it might possess. Rather, it’s in the way we employ our bodies in worship. Listen to what Paul says in Romans 12:1.
“I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”—Romans 12:1
One | The presented body
This power-packed verse is among one of the very first Bible verses that a new believer, young in his faith, is encouraged to memorize. And with good reason. Old Testament law required a guy to regularly and repeatedly present for sacrifice the best of his best—bull, goat, lamb, dove—in order to be absolved of his sins and be in right standing with God. But when Jesus came along—God's Son—and died on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, He fulfilled that requirement once and for all. So now Paul, writing to the believers in Rome, uses that ritual of sacrifice as a picture of what our response to God’s free gift of grace should look like. Every day we present ourselves, our bodies, to God. “I’m yours,” we say. “God, I am so grateful for your gift of grace, and this is one way that I can give back to you.”
Two | The living sacrifice
This is the ultimate oxymoron. “Sacrifice” implies death. So how can anything be a “living sacrifice”? The answer is pretty straightforward. We serve as living sacrifices whenever we give up our time and direct our activity toward serving the Lord. Brainstorm a list of all the ways you might serve God.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Help a neighbor with a project.
- Take a meal to a struggling friend.
- Mentor your son using the scripture.
- Join other believers in “corporate worship” through song.
- Carve out time each day to read and ponder God’s Word.
- Dedicate some vacation time to serve on a mission trip.
- Take a friend to lunch and ask them if you can pray for something in their life.
- Tell the story of how you came to know Christ and the difference he has made in your life.
- Assess your skills and talents and find ways to use them for God’s glory. Love cabinetry? Build a bookcase for a brother. Handy at plumbing? Fix that leak in the church kitchen. Enjoy hiking? Lead a group of kids on a weekend retreat.
Okay, you get the idea. We can serve God with our hands, our bodies, our mouths, our brains—the list of possible “how-to's” is endless. The point is that we intentionally, every day, “sacrifice” our time and effort in ways that serve others and build God’s kingdom.
Three | The holy and acceptable offering
This is a matter of stewardship.
God has given us our bodies and our minds, and so the ball is in our court to take care of them as best we can. In this fallen world we are, of course, subject to all manner of frailties and imperfections. But with a little imagination and creativity, even our weaknesses can be employed to glorify God. But be aware—it’s not enough just to take care of ourselves physically. We also must nurture and care for our hearts and minds, too.
Philippians 4:8 says this:
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
We are responsible to present our best selves to God. All of us. Our hands, feet, eyes, thoughts, actions – everything. And praise God that He has given us His Holy Spirit to empower us, guide us, strengthen us every step of the way.
Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 18 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org. See his latest book and small group study Called to Act: 5 Uncomplicated Disciplines for Men.
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