Monday, December 28th

Monday, December 28th

With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. Romans 12:1-2 (PHILLIPS)

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

We have just come through Christmas and now, in the midst of our Devotional considerations for this week, we will wrap up the year and go into the next. For many of us this is a time we use to make adjustments. We reflect on how we have lived our lives in the year we are wrapping up and what we would like to do different in the one that is about to start. Such reflection on our spiritual lives as well can be a very helpful as followers of Christ. We have two passages of Scripture we will look at this week. The first one will be used the first three days and the second one the last three days. We will consider a highlighted portion each day to help us reflect on our spiritual lives and zero in on adjustments we can commit to for the coming year.

The key word in today's Scripture is the word "give." When we think about commitment to God, "give" seems like a very appropriate word. But our Scripture says, "give him your bodies." If we were asked to come up with a primary commitment response in regard to giving back to God, we would not likely focus on our bodies (Of course, making New Year's resolutions in regard to our bodies is a big deal at this time of year). We would more likely come up with, "give him your heart, your life, your will, etc." There is a way of understanding the use of the word "bodies" in today's Scripture that can help us out here.

When we are born, we begin our time in the flesh here on earth and when we die, we end our time in the flesh here on earth. Perhaps the thought of our passage is this: give the time you are in your body, alive in the flesh here on earth, totally over to God. This idea is captured in 1 Corinthians 6:20, where it says, "Glorify God in your body." So we are talking about making the commitment of giving ourselves (every aspect of who we as a living being) completely to God for the entire time we are here on earth. Today's Scripture tells us that this is the kind of commitment that is acceptable to God. When we make this kind of commitment to God we become living sacrifices that are fully consecrated to him. Today's passage also tells that this kind of commitment (give your bodies) is the worshipful response of the person who has a full encounter with the mercies of God.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, help me to become more fully aware of your mercies and to enter into them more completely. I am so prone to losing touch with the amazing provision that has been bestowed on me through the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for my salvation, your indwelling presence, and your commitment to have it be that I become one who lives fully for you. I give myself to you today in a fresh and new way. Amen!

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