I’m reading David Platt’s Radical right now and I haven’t been so gripped by a book since… well I can’t quite recall. Anyway I was reading this morning about how people are either receivers or reproducers of the Word. The idea is that we should not merely receive the spiritual messages we hear on Sundays or whenever but we need to reproduce them.. we need to teach others about what we learn. We need to be spreading.. reproducing the message to those we come in contact with. Imagine if everyone sitting in church was taking vigorous notes in order to be able to learn the material enough to teach it to those he/she came in contact with that week. Definitely makes me want to pay even closer attention in church.
So in light of what I learned from Platt’s book, I’d like to reproduce what I learned in church today. The sermon was on Romans 12:1-2 and while much was said about both verses, I was particularly struck by an idea based on 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.” (ESV) …Offering my body as a living sacrifice. I think in the past when I’d read those verses, even memorized them, I just assumed that the verse fell along the same lines as our bodies being a temple and so therefore I should probably cut back on greasy food. I think I believed that those verses were just more verses about why we shouldn’t be smoking and drinking. Gotta keep it clean! Anyway the speaker broke it down for me today and it finally clicked. My body is a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice! God gave it to me and I need to honour God with it. The speaker presented the idea that we should look at different parts of our bodies and then see just how we are measuring up.
I think about my tongue and then I ask myself, is my tongue a living sacrifice? Am I prone to gossip and complain and murmur? Do I speak of God’s goodness to me? Do I speak of His love? Are my words pure words? … um…
What about my eyes? Do I see things and allow things into my brain that are harmful in letting me live a life focused on Christ? Do I spend time watching things that only seduce me away from the life God has called me to? Do I use my eyes to see needs in the world that I could meet or to look upon God’s beautiful creation? What are my eyes doing? Are they a living sacrifice?
My ears? What and who am I listening to? What thoughts am I letting into my head? What messages am I hearing and internalizing?
My stomach.. Which is the tricky one always. How are my appetites? Am I being self controlled?
My hands and feet.. What are they really accomplishing for the Kingdom? Are they idle? Are they busy? Where are my feet going?
When I break my body down and start to think about it that way, I find that I have a much clearer understanding of what it means to be a living sacrifice.. holy and acceptable to God.. which is my spiritual worship. That’s pretty intense! I am called to worship God with my body.. all day long, every day, day after day.. that’s pretty high pressure but it’s a good kind of pressure!
And so.. as I sit here thinking about how Monday morning is coming and wondering how the week is going to shape up.. I want to be conscious of the fact that my body is a real living sacrifice and I want to make sure that I am doing all I can to keep/make it holy and acceptable to Him…