As a Christian, the true and proper worship that edifies God is when we serve God faithfully, offering our bodies in holiness as a living sacrifice. As a believer, Is your life reflecting your profession – a living sacrifice? Are you serving the Lord as to please and bring glory to Him? Are you doing what the Lord commands you? How do you handle difficult situations in your life? Compromise? Surrender? Or in order?
The decision to live right, walk right, think right and act right is in the hand of every individual. This is the greatest freedom God have made available to each and every one of us. Also, this leaves us to live a life not blaming another for our shortfalls.
A renewed mind is the one that thinks, sees and acts the will of God. That mind or person simply wants to live to please God, and God alone. He is a victor, more than a conqueror, and a powerful servant of God. Trials often comes, but we all are made avoid and overcome them. So, the bible says that, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV). This established the fact that we all have been empowered to overcome, except when we compromise!
“Do not conform 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. Humble Service in the Body of Christ” (Romans 12:2). Here, Conformity means when you have to go along with worldly plans, not God’s plans. If you do so, your sensitivity to the will of God is either dampened, or obliterated. That is evil, and a sin against God.
Now, the big question is, ‘How can I live in the world without conforming to the world? This is where the scriptures come in to play. Our church pulpits should have to fish out the truth of God’s word, and preach them to all man. According to the scripture, the only thing the world offers, often offends with contradictions every word of God. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16). Evidence of this, is on your television, internet, and other mainstream media outlets.
Today, what is given to us as Grace is now being subverted to as our right. Believe it or not, “…, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”(Romans 3:23, 24 NIV). Showing appreciation to the God of our salvation is the whole essence of the gospel. “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).
As a Christian, you are saved to be an example of God’s grace at work. When you are a living sacrifice, the salvation of people around you should be your primary goal. This means that… you have to live, love, talk, teach, walk and act like Jesus. The world’s way of showing love is when it is erotic, but in essence, true love means sacrifice, being there when needed, lending without usury, and telling the truth. Love is an Action, not words.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13).
A Christian living as an example “Bless(es) those who persecute them; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. He/ she is not proud, but is willing to associate with people of low position. Is not conceited (Romans 12:14-16)
As an instruction, we are commanded to eschew integrity, patience and kindness to all men, forgiving them when they confess for our forgiveness. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:17-19). By taking matters into ones hands, we simply limit God. Do not forget that God loves us, and can not trade our joy, health, life and happiness for anything.
Truth is a very essential spiritual virtue. If you know it, it sets you free (John 8:32 ). Again, it is a shield of protection to them that use it always. Truth is a divine arsenal that demolishes satanic kingdoms. Those who use them, though bruised always remains victorious. This is a life of a believer, the faith of a living sacrifice. To all that believes, there is a time when we will be tested. Expect it, but be focused, Jesus has overcome. In this, I conclude that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NIV). You have to know what time it is for you. Remember, you owe yourself that piece, and is the one that will use it.
Stay bless, and may the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ abide with you. Amen.
Scripture of the day: Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. ~ John 12:25 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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