October 8, 2018

Live for Christ

Romans 12

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A Living Sacrifice

I appeal to you therefore, brothers,1 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,3 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.4

Gifts of Grace

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. For as in one body we have many members,5 and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,6 with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,7 serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.8 Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it9 to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


[1] 12:1 Or brothers and sisters
[2] 12:1 Or your rational service
[3] 12:2 Greek age
[4] 12:2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God
[5] 12:4 Greek parts; also verse 5
[6] 12:8 Or gives aid
[7] 12:11 Or fervent in the Spirit
[8] 12:16 Or give yourselves to humble tasks
[9] 12:19 Greek give place

Live for Christ

Bio | Carlos Lopez

Hey, Journeyers! I'm Carlos, follower of Christ, husband to Diana (aka Wonder Woman), and father to three high-energy kiddos: Julia, Victoria, and Thomas. Professionally, I'm in technology marketing. For fun, I enjoy traveling, taking in non-fiction books and movies, salsa dancing, and running. On Thursdays, I serve as a small group leader at Summit, Watermark's men's Bible study.

Central Truth

In view of God's mercy, our most important duty is to present our lives to God. In order to present our lives to God, our relationship with God should govern who we are, how we think, and how we live.

Devotional | Romans 12

How does one worship God? By singing? Praising? Praying? Meditating? Generally, that is what comes to mind when I think of worship. But, in Romans 12, Paul says that presenting our bodies as living sacrifices is...

How does one worship God? By singing? Praising? Praying? Meditating? Generally, that is what comes to mind when I think of worship. But, in Romans 12, Paul says that presenting our bodies as living sacrifices is our true spiritual worship. Paul uses the term present the same way he used it in Romans 6:13. "Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness."

Our true worship is "presenting" our bodies, every part of us, every thought, word, and action, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to the moment we close them at night. I can sing praises every Sunday, but if I'm not presenting my entire being to God on a daily basis, saying, "Lord, in response to your loving grace and mercy, I offer you every part of me," then I'm missing out on the true spiritual worship Paul talked about.

Presenting that last two percent has often been hardest for me. Even identifying that two percent is hard at times! Recently, my friend Kyle encouraged me by sharing that when he wakes up each morning he asks himself, "Where is my heart hooked, scared, cold, or proud?" In addition to examining my heart, I often pray Psalm 139:23-24: "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"

Let's present every part of ourselves as an act of gratitude. It is our best form of worship. But it is not what qualifies us to be a child of God by any means. It is purely by God's grace and mercy, the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, that we humbly approach the altar and participate in this awesome form of worship!

"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28)

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Discussion Questions

1. What comes to mind when you think of worship?

2. Are there any activities in your life that you are not "presenting" to God? What is keeping you from presenting your last two percent?

3. In Romans 12:3-8, Paul talks about being part of a body of believers with diverse spiritual gifts. What does this look like for you?

4. What is one verse you can memorize and meditate on this week to help renew your mind?

7 Comments available

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

The name Abel is from the word for vanity or futility in Hebrew. And that’s what the fall did. Sin led to senseless pain and suffering such as Abel’s death at the hand of his brother Cain (who his mom thought wrongly was the messiah at first)

The originally good world was subject to futility and men to futile thinking.

Vain thinking and vain worship of Romans 1 was redeemed to a renewal of the mind and a spiritual form of worship in Romans 12 by mercy through faith working itself out in love.

greg jones over 1 year ago

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. Romans 12:2

As a person who was raised in a Christian home and has spent all his live within “church”, it is easy to believe verse two has been checked of the list and to read past the rest of the chapter. It’s easy to feel like these are instructions for the newbies of the faith.

For me, sometimes the last two percent is testing the first ninty eight. Great summary of Romans chapter 12.

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

The heart is ultimate but everything going to the heart first goes through the mind (AKA the Puritan view of the primacy of the mind).

The book of Romans started with the futility of thinking of a world lacking a proper response to God and moves to a renewal of the mind

A renewed mind leads to a transformed life seen partly in service to the body. More than half the verses touch on various expressions of love whether to those in the body or those outside, holding to hope and displaying love even in persecution.

“God is making you like Jesus, so you will enjoy spending forever with Him” (says David Murray, professor of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary )

Jennifer Culbreth over 1 year ago

What a great devotional Carlos! Thank you. I definitely needed to be reminded of how we should walk toward Jesus. I love Psalm 139:23-24. This is a reminder of some of the scriptures I memorized when I was in Celebrate Recovery 8 years ago. Our God is a Good God and I’m so thankful that he gives me trials. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be so dependent on Him! Forever He Is Glorified!!

Hope Harris over 1 year ago

Gm the first 8 verses always hit me right in the heart everytime I read them.

Today is no exception. Key takeaways for me are: 1.) God can does reorder us from the inside out. 2.)The only way to understand ourselves is to understand who God is. 3.) Life theme for me “Be who God made me to be.”

Have a great day friends!

Sue Bohlin over 1 year ago

Hi Carlos! Sure do love how you and Diana love and serve so very well at the Plano campus!

Your friend’s stunning question is my favorite part of your devo: “Where is my heart hooked, scared, cold, or proud?” Whoa! It’s a great diagnostic question and a GREAT chapter. No wonder people have been memorizing this chapter for . . . ever?!

Hugh Stephenson over 1 year ago

GM Carlos. What an awesome devo and summary of Romans 12! LOVE your link to Psalm 139 and Hebrews 12.

What is my last 2%. Confession: It’s a lot higher than 2%.

Q1 - Worship - Instant thought is church service. Presenting my whole body, thought, word, action etc? My heart is still way too much in this world.

Q2 - What’s preventing me? It’s not a lack of information. My will is still too strongly focused on what I want. My heart is not fully surrendered.

Part of my challenge is being task oriented and very restless. I have a hard time just sitting quietly in thought.

It seems my heart is too focused on what I have done for that day rather than what He has done for me for eternity.


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