A Holy Offering

Sunday, June 30, 2013, 8:28 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with the song “Fully Ready” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 12 (NIV): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2012&version=NIV

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


In view (examination; analysis; consideration) of God’s mercy to us in sending his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, so that we could be free from sin, we are urged to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. So, how do we do that?

Die Daily

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny himself (his self-life) and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) Christ (See Lu. 9:23-25). Paul, in the Spirit, said that “our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (See Rm. 6). So, we no longer should allow sin to reign (rule) in our mortal bodies so that we obey its evil desires, but rather we should offer our bodies (includes our will, thoughts, attitudes, mind, emotion and actions) to God as instruments of righteousness. This means that daily we die to what we want, and we seek to please our Lord instead, and we choose not to give in to sin, but to live for Christ.

Do Not Conform

We also choose to no longer conform (adapt; acclimate; modify) our lives to the way in which this sinful world thinks, behaves, and/or believes, and/or to what it values as most important. We don’t participate in what is sinful, nor should we allow ourselves to be entertained by what is sinful. We can be so easily desensitized to the things of this world to where we follow the ways of the world without even thinking that what we are doing is wrong or is displeasing to our Lord. So, we should pray and ask the Holy Spirit of God to speak to our hearts concerning any areas of our lives where we are still conforming to the pattern of this world, and then we should allow the Holy Spirit to transform us in our minds and attitudes, which will then result in a change in behavior. I pray this for myself.

Be Humble

We should not have an overdeveloped sense of self-importance, but instead we should evaluate ourselves by God’s standards and by honest and realistic thinking. It doesn’t take much at all for me to be reminded of my failures, and my past sins, and to recognize that it is only by the grace of God that I am still alive and that he is still using me for his glory. None of us should have any reason to be full of pride, because all that we have, we have received from God. We did nothing to earn it or deserve his grace to us in its many forms. So, we have no cause to think we are better than others. Yet, that does not mean we should become one with the world just so the people of this world, or of the worldly church, will not accuse us of being conceited when we choose not to participate in sin, or when we obey our Lord Jesus by coming out from the world and being separate.

Participate in the Body Life

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ via forsaking our sins and choosing to walk in obedience with our Lord Jesus, we become members of his body along with other believers in Christ. And, God has assigned each of us a part in the body, and his Spirit has given to each of us specific spiritual gifts to be used within the body for the edification, encouragement, instruction, and spiritual growth of the body of Christ (Cf. 1 Co. 12; Ep. 4). These assignments are not those we select ourselves or that a local church fellowship might ask us to do, most likely, as they are not to be equated with natural talents or with specific church ministries, though the Lord may use them with our natural talents and within the context of church ministries.

These are spiritual assignments given by God to us individually in the way he had planned for our lives even before we were born. And, these God-given assignments within the body of Christ may not even fit within traditional church (institutional) ministries, but may be “outside the box,” so to speak. Yet, what is most important is that we listen for God to give us our assignments, and that we obey him fully in doing what he has assigned us to do, even if we are not accepted within the confines of traditional institutional religion but must operate “outside the box.” After all, that is what Jesus did. And, we are to be like him.

Love Others

We should love others the way in which Jesus loves us. We should be sincere and honest (lovingly), and not superficial and phony. We should hate all that is evil. In other words, loving others does not mean we have to accept sin, or that we have to be silent about sin. Jesus was honest with people about their sin, and he told them the truth, which is why so many hated him and/or deserted him. In fact, he loved them enough to be truthful with them about sin, knowing they might hate and reject him in return, because he cared about their eternal destiny, and he cared about the kind of life they were living now, and about their relationship with God. Yet, he always gave them a message of hope, providing they would repent of their sins and turn to walk in faith and obedience to Christ.

Loving others also does not mean we have to follow in the ways of this world just so people will like us or just so they will think we accept them. We can love others and still keep our spiritual fervor for the Lord Jesus in obeying his commands. I think sometimes we get a distorted notion of what it means to love because we have bought into the world’s idea of what love is. Being devoted to one another, and honoring one another above ourselves does not mean we compromise our beliefs, values, or Christian principles, or that we back away from talking about Jesus for fear people will think we are hyper-religious. Jesus was hyper-religious by today’s definition of what that means. Jesus didn’t change who he was to be accepted by others. The way in which he honored others and was devoted to them was through meeting their needs, healing their diseases, and by telling them the truth about their sin; and about what is required of them to have a relationship with God.

Follow His Example

Basically, we must follow the example of Jesus Christ in what he did and said when he walked the face of this earth, in obeying his teachings, and in being willing to give up our lives for the sake of his name and of his gospel, even if we are rejected, persecuted and hated, just as Jesus was. We must be lights for the gospel, and witnesses of his salvation. And, we must love others in the same way in which he loves us and he gave his life for us.

Fully Ready! / An Original Work / June 19, 2013

Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8

Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.

May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”

“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”