This is it! We’re on Day 10 of our 10 day journey to make 2019 the year of MORE. We finished out 2018 and started 2019 focusing on some important verse that can help us live the MORE life Jesus died to give us.
The MORE life we’re talking about looks a lot like this…
- More joy. LESS anxiety.
- More peace. LESS stress.
- MORE focus on the things of God. LESS focus on the things of the world.
- MORE time in the Word. LESS time wasted
- MORE intentional life for the Lord. LESS random reactionary living
- MORE humility. LESS pride
- MORE fulfilling your God-given calling. LESS erratic ricochetting through life
- MORE contentment. LESS longing for what you don’t have
- MORE patience. LESS frustration
- MORE of Jesus. LESS of us
The MORE life we long for is really the REAL life that Jesus died to give us. It’s what the normal Christian life should look like.
Today’s 2 power-packed verses take us to a pivotal point in our journey to MORE. The choice to GIVE UP!
Take a minute and read Romans 12:1-2 in both the NKJV and the Amplified Classic and consider what it’s calling us to do.
|Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)|
I beseech[a 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.
|Romans 12:1-2 (Amp Classic)|
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [ctransformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
This verse gives us the chance to look at a little Bible study basic that can totally deepen your understanding of God’s Word when you apply it to your study time.
So, here’s your BSB (Bible Study Basic): W
When you see the word Therefore you need to find out what it’s there for.
That means you need to go back and apply another BSB (Bible Study Basic) and that’s look back at the verses prior to the verse you’re studying and look for the context. Ask some questions like:
- Who is the author?
- Who is the audience?
- What is the author intending to communicate and why?
- Are there comparisons and/or contrasts being made?
- What is the historical and cultural backdrop of the text?
With that in mind, what is the “Therefore” there for?
In chapter 11, Paul is addressing the fact that God had not forsaken His people. That through the failure of Israel to embrace God’s only Son as Savior of the world, that their rejection has become the reconciliation of the world.
John 1:11-12 echoes that same truth…
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”
The mystery is the chosen (Israel) never became unchosen, yet their rejection of Christ ushered in our opportunity to become eternally His through faith.
So, Hebrews 11:32-36 summarizes what the “Therefore” is there for.
32 For God has [hcommitted them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Therefore… because of the amazing, relentless, indescribable, unconditional, amazing love of God that He would allow us to become children of God… that He, who is above all, Creator of all, and to Whom all glory belongs… that He would love us so much that He would send His son to save us from our sins…
THEREFORE…I’M BEGGING YOU…BY THE MERCIES OF GOD…
- Present your bodies a living sacrifice.
- Be not conformed to this world.
- Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
To experience the MORE life we have to make some tough choices.
To be a living sacrifice –
- to give up the good in pursuit of the best
- to choose to die to self when our rights are violated
- to live a holy life
- to honor God in all what we do
- to be kind to those who are rude to us
- to forgive those who have hurt us
- to sacrifice our time, tithe, and talents in order to serve the Lord by serving others
- to do without so we can give to others
- to keep our mouths shut when we really want to retaliate
- to think of others instead of just thinking of ourselves
Presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice is a call to make a choice to sacrifice who we think we are for who He wants us to be – what we think we want to do for what He knows we need to do – to honor Him by giving up our rights so that He can have the right to who we are and how He chooses to use us.
To be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind –
- to let God’s Word shape our thoughts and opinions not the world’s point of view
- to commit to studying and understanding what God’s Word calls us to instead of allowing the culture to conjure up concepts that are contrary to God’s will and God’s ways.
- to say no to living a worldly life and saying yes to spending time saturating our minds with the truth of Scripture
- to deny our desires for fleshy lusts for the sake of Christ and to study and know how we can best serve God in our journey on this planet
- to not make excuses for choosing to sin but to seek to honor God by knowing what His Word says about sin and the price Jesus paid for our sins
- to not try to see how close we can get to the edge without sinning but to choose to see how far we can stay away from it so that we might honor God with our lives
There’s so much to this life of MORE that we long to live. The verse we’ve studied will help us in our journey to make 2019 the year of MORE.
As you look back over the passages we’ve studied during this 10 day devotional, each one was chosen to help you throughout the year.
If you’re struggling with your thought life, focus on Philippians 4 and choose how to think right. But your thought life is also addressed in today’s passage (Romans 12:1-2) where we’re told to renew our minds.
God’s has given us everything we need to live this life the way He wants us to live it. (2 Peter 1:3) and His Word has the answers to every question of the human heart.
So, whatever you need to do to continually walk in the MORE life Jesus died to give you, just make the choice to do it.