“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
Paul writes, “God is good. So … offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice … Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him” (vv. 1-2). There are two ways to understand God’s sovereignty: a) through His initiative, and b) through our response. In essence, Paul is saying this:
- Resist the pressures of a world system that pulls you in the wrong direction.
- Renew your mind every day through prayer and reading God’s Word.
- Recognize His will for you and live accordingly.
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He writes:
“Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in times of trouble and never stop praying. Take care of … needy people … Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you … When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people. Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, and do your best to live at peace with everyone” (vv. 9-18, CEV).
God’s sovereignty doesn’t release us from personal responsibility. It doesn’t mean we should lose interest in current affairs or in making informed decisions. God still expects us to strive for excellence and show concern for a lost world. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty sets you free from playing God and enables you to enjoy walking with Him.
Lord, You have given us everything in this world, especially our freedom from sinful death. Help me to share that goodness to everyone I meet and let me walk with You in daily joy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.