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Romans 12 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Living Sacrifice
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Gifts of Grace
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
- The Old Testament worshipers brought animals to the temple, to be killed and laid on the altar. Paul reversed the imagery. He encouraged Christians to bring themselves to the altar and live for God. This is one of the wonderful things about worship. We do worship God when we go to church, when we pray, when we raise our voices in song. But we also worship God every day whenever we do anything that pleases Him.
- Paul then told us “bythe renewal of your mind”, we may be transformed to become, just like butterflies, beautiful and new. What is to be transformed is the way we look at life: the values, the thoughts, the motives, and the viewpoint from which we evaluate choices. In short, we need to see everything from God’s point of view. Then, “you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete”.
- Pray with the Scripture (vv1-2): In view of God’s mercy, may I present my body as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God, which is my reasonable service. May I not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may prove that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect. (Ken Boa, Handbook to Prayer)