Romans 12:1–2 (NKJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Paul uses pretty strong language here to get his point across. He uses the term beseech or to ask urgently. He is reminding us that we have been given a tremendous gift and we should then live a certain way because of the gift of salvation. Think about the price paid, the washing of sin, and the amount of sin that was cleansed… it truly is an amazing gift!
Paul tells us that we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, what does that mean? When Paul uses the term body, he is speaking of our whole being, our physical body certainly, but also our mind, our soul, our flesh, and our spirit. God essentially wants all of us. God is not interested in our works alone, He wants us to be completely committed to Him in every aspect of our being.
Being a living sacrifice is no small task. We are being called to lay our lives at the altar, yet the Lord is not asking us to be a dead sacrifice, He is asking us to be a living sacrifice. As we come to the altar, our old self must die and we must move forward as a new creation, a living sacrifice to the Lord.
Do Not Be Conformed
Coming to the altar and experiencing the new life the Lord has for us is the easy part. We are reminded that we are not to be conformed to this world. It is an amazing thing when we come to the Lord and we are renewed and refreshed in the cleansing He provides, what we have to do is make sure the dust of this world does not dirty that which has been cleaned. As we roam through this sinful world it is awfully easy for that sin to cling to us. Our challenge is to walk through this world as a living sacrifice and not be conformed by the sin that surrounds us. How do we do this? By continually renewing our mind. When we are in the Word constantly, that will be what is forming our thoughts and actions, not this dirty sinful world.
Oh, how we should long for the day when we are found good and acceptable and in the perfect will of God. For now, we must do everything we can to remain clean, dedicated, and committed to being a living sacrifice to our great and worthy God.
Psalm 1:1–3 (NKJV)
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.