Romans 12:1-3 (NKJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
As believers, our life belongs to God. All of it without exception is the Lord’s as our part of the covenant made in salvation. When I worked in the admissions office of a hospital many years ago, I would check in patients preparing for procedures and surgeries. It was my job to review paperwork and obtain important signatures concerning their healthcare and to receive permission to treat the patient. One such document was an Advanced Directive which is a living will that indicates a person’s wishes in the event they are unable to express their wishes concerning their life when important life or death decisions must be made. I was astounded by the number of patients entering the healthcare facility and undergoing procedures who had no idea what was happening or why. When asked if they had a living will or would like to complete an Advanced Directive, the patient was clueless as to why they would need such a thing. Many physicians would grow frustrated when I instructed their patients to ask questions and know what was happening to their bodies before signing contracts to consent to invasive procedures with inherent risks. It became such an issue that eventually my first question would be, “What are you here for today?” If they had no clue, we would get the doctor or nurse on the phone to fully explain each procedure. It seems crazy to me that people would admit themselves to a hospital and blindly allow people to cut open their bodies with no idea what was going on. It happens every day. People will sign paperwork without even reading the provisions it contains. They walk blindly into obligation never really knowing what their part of the bargain is and completely surprised when the outcome is not favorable. We are instructed to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is our reasonable service. Says who? It is in the covenant of salvation that you made when you asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life. Have you kept your part of the bargain? Are you ready to receive the Love of God? We are to proved what is good, acceptable and perfect Will of God. Well, what if I don’t want God’s Will? Too late, you already accepted it as your very own.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
To receive God’s Love, believers must know and understand His Amazing Grace. Grace is a gift. It must be received. It is not to be returned but respected. Salvation comes by the Grace of God. It is not at all a reward for anything we have done. No one can boast about the good things in their life or the changes that God makes through salvation, but we do it all the time. Our life is a masterpiece of God. Long ago the Lord planned to do good things for His People because of His Unconditional and Unfailing Love. Sin separated us and kept us from receiving such things so God in His Infinite Wisdom and Mercy gave His Only Son – Jesus Christ to make a Way for all of His Children to receive His Grace. Grace is not to be used to get through life but to rise above it. When we called on the Name of Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, it was a higher calling not a lateral shift. We were raised by the Resurrection Power of God from death (the penalty of sin) to life (the reward of grace). We were powerless up until this point. We were not simply revived but renewed. No longer does sin have the ability to weigh us down and keep us from God. We are now to become “examples of the incredible wealth of His Grace and Kindness” to all generations. (Ephesians 4:-7) We are now united with Jesus Christ. What connection does good have to evil, light to darkness, sin to glory? None at all! Without the Grace of God, we cannot receive the Love of God. To have God’s Love is to make an informed choice about your decision to receive the Grace of God and live like it.
Romans 6:12-14 (NLT)
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
God’s Grace is not inanimate but filled with life. You cannot accept God’s Grace and Love through Salvation and NOT be changed. It is impossible. By giving your life completely to God which is your reasonable service according to salvation, sin no longer has any control over the way you live. Bad habits, sinful desires and any form of evil should not be in your life. These things were washed away under the Blood of Jesus Christ. By faith, we receive God’s Amazing Grace and step from death to life. Sin no longer calls the shots…that is unless you remain subject to them and allow them to remain in control. Faith allows us to move from death to life. We must believe that God’s Grace is for us and empowers us not to sin then live that way. Blind faith does not take us far. The measure of faith that God gives us does nothing until cultivated. (Romans 12:3) What you do with the Grace of God is vitally importance to your ability to receive all that God has for you beginning with His Love. I would venture to say that the more I invest faith in His Word, His Will and His Way the less I really do know about the Love of God which makes me press in harder to discover the parameters of His Grace, Mercy and Love concerning me. You live in the freedom of God’s Grace by the Power of God invested in your life. You will never discover how powerful God is inside you until by Grace you leave sin behind to embrace this new life in Jesus Christ.
John 1:14-17 (NLT)
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is God’s Word wrapped in flesh given to mankind as a sacrifice for sin. The fullness of His Unfailing Love is demonstrated in the love story that is the life of Jesus Christ. God spoke to His People – they would not listen. He wrote it all down for them – they ignored Him. When God sent His Son to tell of His Love, they mocked Him. In their continued rebellion and ignorance according to God’s Plan, they killed the One who God sent to save their souls. In His Willingness to die for each one of us, Jesus released His Power to all mankind. In this covenant with Jesus Christ, we offer our life for His Life. It is the only way to survive judgment. God’s jealous love for all people has gone to great lengths to secure future hope for all of His Precious Children. (Exodus 34:14) Now it is time to discover the small print of our covenant with the Lord and learn how to live an acceptable life which is our reasonable service. Nothing is impossible with God when we accept His Grace and live by His Power enabling us to receive all that He has promised!
Romans 1:3-5 (NLT)
The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
We are empowered to receive from God according to His Strength inside of us. When Jesus left this world, He did not leave us powerless. So why do we lack power in our life? The Holy Spirit has long been ignored. Jesus is the Son of God who “was raised from the dead by the Power of the Holy Spirit.” I didn’t make that up. Religion did not decide it should be a doctrine. The Lord clearly identifies His Spirit as the life giving power. We are powerless other than to be a living demonstration of the benefits of the Grace of God living by the Power of God. It is the Spirit of God inside of us that allows us to have all that God has promised. We are no longer obligated to make things right between us and God but to simply live a life of love and power. The Lord told His Disciples “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Do you fancy yourself to be a believer? A believer is a disciple of Jesus Christ because He is our example. (I Peter 2:21) We can no longer say that we do not know the Will of God because His Spirit tells us. (Romans 8:26-27) We can follow His Way because He guides us from the inside as the Lord intercedes in Heaven on our behalf.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
It is time that God’s People took the time to know and understand their covenant with God. Over a decade ago, I stood in a small church with a crowd of people professing my love and devotion for my husband. I made a vow in that place to love, honor, cherish and protect him all the days of my life. Ever since that moment, I have lived as his faithful wife. I have remained true to my commitment to love only him as my husband and give my heart to no other. Many marriages today end because people do not make the decision to remain true to their commitment spending more time on the ceremony instead of focusing on the covenant. Homes are broken because of a lack of commitment and insincerity when it comes to marriage vows. Children suffer the consequences. It remains a mark on generations to come. Marriage is not the only commitment made in a church and taken lightly in life. Salvation is its partner. The altar is filled with people sorry for their sin who do not want to die. Yet these same people are unwilling to exchange their life for everlasting life and love. Very few walk away with a willingness to commit their heart, mind, body and soul to Jesus Christ. The price of sacrifice is too high as pride wins and flesh remains in control. They do not want His Love because it is too demanding. They do want His Grace as it is intended. They do not want His Power. His Spirit is ignored yet the desires are still expected. They want Heaven on earth and save true salvation for another day. Loving evil over good they slip back into the darkness not willing to miss out on life. Those who commit their life to Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice which is our reasonable service to God will receive His Love by His Grace faithfully accepted and will allow His Holy Spirit to change them from the inside out. It is the only way to receive God’s Love. We must imitate God in everything that we do by His Grace and Power filled with His Love. His Word came in flesh so we would know and understand the deep commitment and everlasting covenant that God desires with His People. God loves you! Jesus died for you! How far are you willing to go to be ready to receive His Amazing Love? Will you sacrifice your life, desires and dreams to have it? You made a promise. Are you willing to keep it? Only then will you be ready to receive!
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NLT)
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.