Intro: As a believer, I want you to pause and think about how God created and fashioned you, as well as the spiritual gifts he poured within you. These gifts are valuable and important not only for your life but for the lives of others around you, because we belong to one another in Christ. I have certain gifts that perhaps you do not, so as I present myself to God to be used in excellence for the betterment of others, God sees that as my worship—oneness in Spirit and Truth—and the lives of others can be touched by the gospel of love through me. You have gifts that I may not, so as you present yourself to God to be used in excellence for the betterment of others, God sees that as your worship and the lives of others around you can be touched, as well. As all believers take up this call and mindset—moving in synchronicity with the Spirit of Truth—I believe the struggles that have held people back from receiving Christ will be released by the anointing so that healing can sweep across the land. Worshipers will be multiplied in abundance. Don’t look for a special occasion, my friends, because this spreading of the gospel all takes place as we live our regular daily lives in Christ. “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul wants us to know this personal sacrifice—worship—is necessary to the building up of Christ’s Body. The unredeemed world is nauseatingly narcissistic at its core, so if you copy that pattern you will only be concerned about yourself; certainly, this is not reflective of Christ. However, when we invite the Spirit to come and use us, we can no longer see things as they benefit us individually. We are drawn by the Spirit to sacrifice our wills for God’s will in order to heal the people around us. It is not that you are unimportant to God, because you most certainly are important and essential to the gospel. In fact, you are precious to God; his sacrifice—worship—was to die for you so you could live for him. The world desperately needs healing and if we are willing to be faithful to the spiritual gifts we have been given in order to live the gospel, we can influence others in Christ’s love and power. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father” (John 14:12).
Romans 12:1-8 A Living Sacrifice to God
12 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 [spiritual worship]. 2 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.
3 Because of the privilege and authority [grace] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us [standard of our God-given faith]. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Prayer: Lord, may you always be the standard of faith I use to live a life of worship. May I be willing to sacrifice my will, because there are always many hurting people waiting to meet the Healer. Continue to transform my thinking. In Jesus’ name. Amen.