I once heard a story about a man who used expanding foam to fill some gaps around his doors. He noticed some thin, latex gloves were included in the packaging, but he did not take the time to read the instructions to see what they were there for. As he was applying the foam, it expanded more than he had anticipated, so he used his bare hands to remove the excess. After numerous futile attempts to remove the excess foam, he looked at the packaging that contained the gloves. He read these words: “For skin, cured foam must be mechanically removed or allowed to wear off in time. Therefore, always wear gloves when using this product.” The man had missed a very important “therefore.”
- In today’s passage, Paul gives us a very important “therefore.” Why is it important to look back at what we’ve already read when we see the word “therefore”?
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 12:1-2 (ESV)
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. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What did Paul urge believers to do in verse 1? Why is it so important?
- According to verse 2, what transforms us and keeps us from looking and thinking like the world?
- What can we do—or allow God to do—to keep our minds renewed?
- According to this passage, what does presenting our bodies and renewing our minds have to do with discerning the will of God?
- The dictionary defines worship as “an expression of reverence or praise to a deity.” Based on this definition and what Paul says spiritual worship is, what practical things can you do today to worship God with your life?
RESPOND TO GOD
There are very few verses in the Bible that are as prescriptive as this one. But the desire to follow the prescription listed here in Romans 12:1-2 is about truly comprehending—at a heart level—what Paul painstakingly explained in the first eleven chapters. And if we truly take in what Romans says about the “mercies of God” in the eleven chapters preceding today’s verses, we will understand that God’s desire is for us to live reflecting the love and grace and mercy he continually shows us. We will happily, worshipfully present our bodies and renew our minds. And the result will be the ability to discern the will of God, transforming us daily to look more and more like Jesus.
- Present yourself and every area of your life to God as your act of worship.
- Ask God to show you practical ways you can reflect his love, grace, and mercy today.