“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1, 2 NLT)
Recently while reading Matthew 2:11 I began to think about the lifestyle of worship that God deserves from us. The Lord highlighted to me that when the wise men presented their gifts to Christ they presented to him gifts of value because that’s what he deserved. After all that God has done for us in Christ why are many still not giving him the worship that he deserves, but only what is convenient?
Paul told the Romans that the most valuable sacrifice that they could present to God was not a goat, lamb or any other animal under the Mosaic system, but it was themselves. As they engaged in this act of surrender then they would suddenly come into agreement with the will of God for their lives and live it out on purpose. Since childhood I’ve always been amazed by the number of ministers who share that when God called them into ministry they told him “No.” Really? So have you been acting involuntarily this whole time? No you haven’t because God has so designed mankind that he must have our consent to utilize our abilities in his employ. It probably would be easier for him to do things by force, but he feels better when you act out of a genuine love for him instead.
Today you must come to recognize that the will of God is clearly communicated to the surrendered heart that offers no resistance. So if you’re trying to figure out what the will of God is for your life without surrendering your heart then you can expect to still be in the process of trying to figure out until you submit. James teaches that we must “Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind (JAMES 4:7, 8 CEV-EN).” Live a life of worship consistently offering God the only gift of the highest value: YOU!
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1 ESV)
Right now I want you examine your love walk. How do you respond to the failings of others considered to be weaker than yourself? Do you self-righteously gloat when someone fails to measure up to your standards? Do you administer strong doses of condemnation making them feel increasingly guilty for what they have done?
Paul in this text charges the spiritually mature with the task of ministering strength to those who are still struggling with sinful behaviors and actions. Whether you realize it or not even in light of the finished work of Christ on the cross there are still believers who miss the mark sometimes and need the assistance of their brothers and sisters as they walk out their deliverance. However, the pride of some prevents them from demonstrating the love of God towards these “weaker” individuals because in their eyes the “weaker” ones should know better. This mindset is a clear indicator that their love hasn’t been perfected in line with the principle that states, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8 ESV)."
If we are to achieve maximum impact as the Body of Christ globally then we must begin to walk in the love which Jesus said would identify his disciples (John 13:35). The unbelieving world is watching us to see how we respond when another Christian has a moment of weakness and for the most part they have observed a lot of inconsistencies between what we say the bible teaches and what we have done. From this day forward make the commitment to true agape love and not the fickle human love that is all about you. After all, if you were the weak one how would want someone to respond?
Steve Tolbert is an emerging revivalist who is passionate about drawing people closer to God.