Before It’s Too Late

Romans 12:1 ESV

“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.”

When you think of worship of God, what comes to mind immediately? In America, the response I often get is this image of people sitting in a “worship service” in a “church” building singing “praise and worship” songs with hands raised in the air or with dancing and the clapping of hands.

But what I find to be true often is that this is more about human emotion than it has anything to do with true worship of God.

I am certainly not saying that some people involved in this are not truly worshiping God. But since so much of today’s church has gone the way of the world, and since holy living and submission to Christ as Lord are no longer being taught much, or they are even being discouraged, it says to me that true worship of God is mostly not happening.

For, although praise to God and the singing of songs of worship is certainly a part of our worship of God, something else needs to be taking place first before true worship can happen in such settings as this.

We must first surrender our lives wholly to Jesus Christ, holy and pleasing or acceptable to God. For, this is our spiritual worship of God. And, holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are becoming like Jesus in mind, heart, character, and deed. For, Jesus called us out of the world and to not be unequally yoked together with the ungodly.

So, we can’t be living like the world during the week, living for sinful pleasures and for the lusts of the flesh, and for the lust of the eyes, and for the pride of life, and then go to a church service on Saturday or on Sunday and truly worship God just by singing songs. That’s not true worship.

Romans 12:2 ESV

“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.”

But this true worship doesn’t happen with just surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ, holy and acceptable to him. For, we can’t be holy as he is holy unless we first are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, which is God’s gift to us (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

Once we have died with Christ to our old lives of sin and self, and we have been given new lives in Christ Jesus, to be lived to him and to his righteousness, then we begin our journey with Christ, which involves daily dying to sin and self, and daily taking up our cross and following Jesus (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

And, this walk of faith involves daily putting to death, by the Spirit, the misdeeds of our flesh, and putting on Christ and his righteousness. So, we put off lying, and we tell the truth. We put of stealing, and we work, and we give to others. And, we put off adultery, and we put on purity and faithfulness and love, etc.

For, we can’t truly worship God or discern his will for our lives if daily we are consuming the filth of the world and then regurgitating it to others. We can’t be conformed to Christ and his ways if we are still conformed to the ways (patterns) of this sinful world. So, we must be transformed of the Spirit of God in the renewal of our minds away from sin to living for the Lord.

I hear many professers of faith in Jesus Christ say they are praying for direction from the Lord or for God to reveal his will for their lives while they are willfully not living according to his revealed will for their lives as recorded for us in Scripture. Therefore, we can’t discern God’s will if we are living opposed to his revealed will in his word.

Romans 12:3 ESV

“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.”

This is interesting the way this is written. Do you notice it? It doesn’t say we can’t have an honest assessment of ourselves and of our walks of faith with the Lord. It doesn’t say we can’t be confident in the Lord, in his strength and wisdom, in our walks of faith in him, empowered by his Spirit. We can be confident of who we are in Christ, knowing who we are is because of Him.

What it says is that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. We should not be arrogant and conceited, thinking we have arrived, or that we have no need of correction ever. We should not take pride in book knowledge or in human intelligence or in human talent and giftedness. We should also not take credit for what God does through us. And, we should not look down on others as though they are less than us.

But we should have hearts of compassion, knowing that it is only by God’s grace than any of us are saved from our sins and are made righteous in the eyes of God. But compassion is not weak on sin. It doesn’t tolerate willful defiance against our holy God, especially not habitual defiance of God’s commandments.

We preach truth because we do have hearts of compassion. Otherwise, why bother? I am not saying that everyone preaches truth out of hearts of compassion, though, but that if we are truly compassionate towards others, we aren’t going to lie to them or withhold the truth from them which can save their lives from hell and which can promise them eternal life with God.

For, we must remember that God so loved us that he sent his only begotten Son to die on a cross for us so that we can be delivered from our slavery to sin and so we can now be bond-servants of our Lord Jesus and walk in his holiness, and in his power. And, we must recall that it was because Jesus spoke the hard truths to the people that they crucified him.

So, if we truly love others, and we aren’t stuck up, thinking we are superior, we will be willing to die, to be rejected, to be hated, and to be falsely accused in order to tell people the truth which we know can save their souls. That is true love. That is sacrifice. And, that is thinking with sober judgment, for our minds and our hearts are fixed on Jesus, and on seeing others come to faith in Jesus Christ before it is too late and they miss out on salvation.

I Will Lift My Eyes

An Original Work / December 12, 2012
Based off Psalms 121-125

I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
He will not let your foot slip, and He who watches will not sleep.
Our Lord watches over you, and your life He will keep.
I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
I give thanks to Him.

I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n.
Because of His great love for us, He made us alive with Christ.
Through the kindness of our Savior, He gave us new life.
I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n;
My home, now in heav’n.

Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
Those who trust will ne’er be shaken. God will supply all we need.
Our Lord has done great things for us. He’s our friend, indeed!
Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
I can count on Him.

5 thoughts on “Before It’s Too Late

  1. Sue, thanks for sharing your discussion. We need to immerse ourselves with God’s Word each day, not just at worship. It’s amazing while attending worship online, the Word of God is still front and center. God’s peace!

    Liked by 1 person

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